7 The Coolest IT Exams to Pass (or Braindumps Won’t Help You)

by Mirek Burnejko

Have you watched “The Social Network”? I love one scene from this movie. The hacking competition scene. Students drink (with some rules) and try to hack the system. Two the fastest guys will receive a main reward – “Welcome to Facebook”.

The IT certification world isn’t always fascinating. Try to imagine similar competition (of course without alcohol) for CCNA, MCSA, VCP or Oracle OCA. First person who will configure routing between 3 routers (one without an operating system) and move one virtual machine from server A to B will receive a certification. Reality is unfortunately different – You have 60 minutes to answer 55 questions. The passing score is 70%.

Fortunately, there are still companies that require from their students something more… something unusual. I don’t know every IT exam on the planet, so I hope you can also teach me something about IT exams I don’t know.

Before you share your thoughts in the comments, let me set the stage. Here’s my list of 7 the coolest IT exams to pass.

The Coolest IT Exams to Pass

7. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) from Red Hat

This is a very popular, but also very interesting exam. The exam is practical. You have two hours to do all tasks from the exam guide, like configure SELinux, setup HTTP and DNS server. 0 theory – 100% practice.

6. GIAC Security Expert (GSE) from GIAC

The GIAC Security Expert exam has two parts. One is boring, but second one is quite cool. It’s a two-day lab. You will be working with real problems using several operating systems (Windows, Backtrack, Fedora). You will be using sniffers, scanners and Metasploit to finish all the tasks.

5. Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) from Cisco

This one is very personal for me. It’s my dream. I’m not talking about the certification, but the exam itself. If the Cisco Team recognize that you are worthy, after paying $11250 you can start your exam. The exam is a live Board Review with Cisco Certified Architects and Distinguished Engineers… people from books, comics… heroes. After a few hours of talking and solving many surrealistic, high-level problems you can be proud. You are CCAr.

4. MDI Certified Developer – Apple iOS (MDICD)

How to become a certified iOS developer? It’s easy. Just write an iOS application, browse through the source code and explain the general structure and functions of the major application modules. At the end a proctor will ask you to change your application. Real exam, for real developers. (MDI’s IT exams for BlackBerry and Android developers are similar)

3. SecurityTube iOS Security Expert (SISE) from SecurityTube

This exam is cool. To become a certified iOS security expert, you only need a jailbroken iPhone or iPad running at least iOS 5.1.1. A proctor will give you a real iOS application. The application must be installed on your iPhone and you must find all security vulnerabilities during 6 hours.

2. IPv6 Sage from Hurricane Electric

Although this exam is free and you will receive a free T-Shirt after passing it, there are not too many IPv6 Sages in the world. Why? During a certification process you need to configure and test complex IPv6 scenarios, like setup a SMTP server and read an email delivered over IPv6, configure a name sever and configure AAAA entry for your domain. Everything on your own server or computer.

1. THE WINNER: Offensive Security – All Exams

The first place belongs to Offensive Security. Let’s talk about the easiest one – Offensive Security Certified Professional – OSCP. It is a remote lab experience. You have 24 hours to break through couple of operating systems using your information gathering, buffer overflows, password attacks and web application hacking skills. Pure hacking… and you can drink (if you want). In more advanced IT exams from Offensive Security you have more complex tasks and 72 hours to end them (including sleeping).

But Now I Want To Pass This To You…

The Coolest IT ExamsWhat is, in your opinion, the coolest exam to pass?

Share your experience or funny story from one of these IT exams.
Also, I’d like to get as many stories as possible, so if you can please share this on Twitter, it would be great.

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