This just flew over my transom: At LinuxWorld in San Francisco next month, the Linux Professional Institute will offer free or really cheap Linux certification testing to all takers:"Tuesday, August 9 â€" Thursday, August 11 at 1:00 p.m., LPI will be conducting the LPI 101 exam in Room 2001. The proctored exams are free to all conference delegates, and a special discounted price of $25 is also offered to all exhibitors and exhibit hall attendees. All candidates must pre-register at the LPI Web site for an LPI ID number at https://www.lpi.org/en/register.html. Exam candidates should bring valid photo identification and their LPI ID number to the exam lab."
....and a Number Two Pencil, if I remember the drill correctly.
I wouldn't get too excited about a certification making you any more attractive to employers than, say, a reliable heartbeat or the ability to remember things that aren't pinned to your sleeves. But if you're a newbie, and you'd like a quick and easy way to measure your sysadmin knowledge, this seems like a fine way to do it.
According to the LPI Web site, exams normally cost $100, so it IS a good deal.
Be warned, though: If you really do want the whole certification enchilada, I think the junior-level Linux sysadmin cert also requires a LPI 102 exam. So you may not get anything to hang on the wall for your troubles today -- or maybe you will. I'd go check, but I'd rather go fix myself a sandwich instead.
Actually, I figure anything that promotes command-line competence can't hurt. It'll help to balance out the two or three billion MCSEs running amok on the planet today, for one thing. Plus, if it makes even one Linux newbie realize in time that rm -r * isn't the way to back up the only existing copy of their just-finished term paper, well, that's one less angry, bitter ex-Linux user to worry about.