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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Software

First Red Hat Academy for High School 338

FrankBama writes "As a follow-up to the story of a few days ago, Red Hat has started a program in my old hometown. The story's at the News & Record. I love this part '...this training normally would cost more than $10,000. But Weaver students can get Red Hat certification free -- and use it get a job paying more than $30,000 a year right out of high school.'"
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First Red Hat Academy for High School

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  • by meme_police ( 645420 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:09PM (#5246837)
    ...but I beg to differ with the $10,000 amount. And I'd hope that even a high school graduate could make more than $30k a year with a good understanding of Linux systems administration.
    • >> And I'd hope that even a high school graduate could make more than $30k a year with a good understanding of Linux systems administration.

      You probably could. If you had a good understanding of systems administration in general. They wont. They'll have a bunch of general knowledge about how linux works and what some of the config files are for. If they're lucky they'll get to sit at a help desk. If they stick with the high school education alone and put in enough years, the annual cost of living increase might get them to 30k.

      This is a good learning base to move on to college, but nothing short of going to work for your dad is going to get you 30k as a 'redhad administrator' out of high school.

      • Script Kiddy H.S. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by t0ny ( 590331 )
        I look forward to this trend. Soon, many more linux servers will be getting 0wnZed.

        Seriously, however, nobody is going to pay an 18 year old $30k/yr. It wasnt until recently that I have been able to make good money, because most corporate people dont promote or pay well "youngsters" (unless they are bullshitters with an MBA). Lucky for me the men in my family get grey hair early.

        • Seriously, however, nobody is going to pay an 18 year old $30k/yr.

          I made that much when I was 18. Selling computers at Future Shop. My first year I made $34k. So it is possible, and that was in Oregon when the economy never recovered from the recession in the 1970's. I know several people in non sales roles that made more than that by the time they got to be 20.

      • You probably could. If you had a good understanding of systems administration in general. They wont. They'll have a bunch of general knowledge about how linux works and what some of the config files are for.

        No kidding. I understand the need for teaching practical, specific skills, but only to a point. I mean, I took a programming class in high school (Pascal, whee). I didn't learn much, since I'd learned some of the basics of programming on my whiz-bang Commodore when I was 8. But I know some kids learned something. At least they learned about subroutines and somewhat structured programming.

        There's this whole argument about teaching practical skills vs. a rounded liberal-arts education. It's kind of tiresome, but I have to say I lean a bit towards liberal arts. While my job is primarily in system administration, I am involved in some curriculum development. A big problem, I think, is that when a school offers a "practical" class, it is made an elective. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but electives, I think, aren't put under nearly enough scrutiny. Like you said, big deal if a kid knows what config files do what. They should concentrate on how computers work, not how to open files in redhat. Teach kids about binary math and how to subnet before you teach them how to crank up a dhcp client.

        Unfortunately, the people who end up teaching these classes are physics teachers who can use word but not wordperfect or whatever. That's not really the teachers' faults, I think. The schools just don't support a more comprehensive program, especially for electives. This is often because the school administrators don't know how to properly support them, I think. They send these teachers off to a week-long training and expect them to teach a bunch of kids who were just tossed into electives because they couldn't hack it in trig.

        I teach Cisco classes to teachers, and I've seen a lot of this kind of thing (no, I don't develop curriculum for Cisco). That and CS grads who think Visual Basic rocks all over C. That one always leaves me speechless.

      • I happened to land a job paying $45k at 18 just from playing around with Linux (and administration and programming in general). Also I only have a GED. The reason I probably got hired (it was my last resume I had left to hand out at a job fare) is that I knew some Linux and Perl with the expected level of Windows "skills" (oxymoron?). This was also right before the layoffs and high unemployment (under "Economy", see "G. W. Bush"). I personally may be 'lucky', but I do feel that computer skills in general are best learned through the medium of hobby rather than prefabricated courses. In the scenario I first learned Linux in I didn't have access to a Windows box at home (I had only one and couldn't get Windows to install again, DPMI error?) and was forced to do everything I had to do on Windows, on Linux (I think this was around redhat 6.2, slightly matured by then but not like today). Therefore I wound up learning how to setup my cable modem (and from that TCP/IP), my printer (from that unix printing), digital camera (linux drivers). Soon followed an IP masquerading firewall, linux on a laptop, etc. In the same time frame I don't think I could have learned nearly as much just going to a class and screwing around for assignments.
      • You're correct...And if you actually look at most jobs out there now most require quite a bit of programming experience even for so caleld Sys Admin jobs.

        Maybe later it'll become an issue, but from people I know they look down on cert's and will be looking at experience.

        HelpDesk and what else you're doing with computers is going to help more...If you spend time helping out with projects etc this is worth putting on the resume and is worth much more than a paper that gos along with the stack load of others you have.

  • At my high school (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:11PM (#5246856)
    There was a very similar two year course at my high school that granted certification for Cisco Router Systems. What I remember is the teachers' endless grumbling over how a kid right outta high school can now go get a job that pays better than teaching.
    • And I got the same comment from my high school math/Fortran teacher (in 1980) when I told him what I was offered for my first job.
      But Good for Red Hat. Send out those little Linux trojans into the Winworld.
      Now are they also going to teach PHP and MySQL?
      • Now are they also going to teach PHP and MySQL?

        Actually, this is exactly what I've been doing since last year. In addition to the Cisco CCNA course offered at my high school, a teacher picked a few students out of the C++ class, including myself, to learn PHP and MySQL. In fact, last year we entered the Thinkquest [] USA contest, and actually took first place with this [] website. So, to answer your question, yes they are teaching PHP and MySQL.

    • Re:At my high school (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dextr0us ( 565556 ) <dextr0us.spl@at> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:02PM (#5247202) Homepage Journal
      As a high school student that certified (CCNA), let me tell you a couple of things:

      #1 - CCNA is worthless to a high school student (at least a sophomore) I reciveved my cert in february, got a job in march, and then after my cert expired 2 years later, i had no real desire to do any more cisco out of high shcool.

      #2 - people don't realize how difficult it is as a HS student. HS was cake, but HS, Junior College, and a job as a CCNA (mostly diagnosing router problems) wasn't the best way for me to spend my time. After my sophomore year, i worked on my associates degree more fully, and let me tell you.... way more worth it. Most kids that are smart enough to get a CCNA, are smart enough to do a few/a lot of community college courses. Do that instead of a cert.... that way getting into a bigger school is cake. (only a 26 on the ACT for me, but it was irrellivent)
      • by NTworks ( 163511 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @03:03AM (#5248625)
        I had this same thing.. Cisco has been setting up similar things to give CCNA's to high school students across the country.

        The teachers are telling the kids how they can make $40k right out of high school. I got my CCNA thru their school program as a senior

        let me tell you, it is total BULLSHIT. 90% of the people who actually passed the cert (which was only ~50% of the class, me included) will never touch a router at least not for another 5 years. and they WONT find a $40k job out of high school working on cisco equipment, especially with the current IT economy

        I was lucky and landed a job out of high school in 2000 when the economy was still decent, I work as a mainframe computer and high-end 64-bit unix machine operator in a large computer datacenter (also the webmaster for our datacenter). I was the last person they hired without a degree, now they wont even consider u unless you have a degree AND working IT experience. CCNA's are now worthless thanks to cisco flooding the market with no-knowledge high school punks who think they are the shit because they vaguely know what "config t" is
    • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:15PM (#5247260)
      I was doing tech support at a local startup (this was in '96-'97), and started studying on my own for the MCSE. The first few tests I studied for were reading the NT 4 Server Resource kit. After graduation, I landed a summer internship at Citrix, and finished my MCSE (the last test was on break during freshman year).

      I used that to leverage interviews and offers that made my friends at school jealous, and this was at MIT, they weren't slouches. One interviewer freshman year asked if I was graduating in the spring, and was quite disappointed when I explained that I was a freshman looking for an internship (then she saw the education line on my resume).

      I pimped the MCSE and Citrix CCA (easy to pick up after working in Citrix's tech support department for 3 months) to get great jobs through the dot-com era. It was nice that when my friends were scrounging for money to buy shitty beer, the girls were impressed with my fully stocked liquor cabinet of premium stuff. :)

      I turn 24 in a few weeks, run my own business, getting married this summer, and generally have my life together. The last of the credit card debts from starting a business are getting repaid, and things are going well. Take away the MCSE, and instead of getting good jobs as internships, I'm UROPing (undergrad research, most of which is just bitch work for $8/hr), and just getting my act together in the corporate world.

      I dealt with clients, managed a team, and generally acquired a lot of experience while in school. Didn't cost me my "youth" either, I managed to be social chair of my fraternity among other experiences. Getting job skills in school is critical.

      Hell, if I had stayed with Citrix like my HS drop-out friend that got me the job did, I'd also have a house and car from cashing in my stock options. :)

      Skills are good, learn them. They don't replace a liberal arts education for personal growth and knowledge, but they can get you an opportunity to get rewarding summer jobs, instead of menial ones. Being a broke college student sucks, I was happier making $35/hr part time as a Citrix/MS geek than $8/hr cleaning test tubes in a lab.

      • I left shcool when I was 16 and went into a Software Engineering BSc Honours degree at University. In the 3rd year of my 5 year course I did a placement with a local software company, and after graduating last May, I am working with them full-time. I live with my fiancee in Edinburgh, where she's at University studying Medicine. I have my own car too (an MG ZR+). Life can work out pretty well going the normal Univesity stdent route too :-)
    • Teachers love playing poor. Sure the average for a 1st year teacher 27k/year, and that would of course mean that the RHCE would make more. But in three years after tenure, I'd lay $1000 that the teacher is going to be making a bit more than the RHCE high school kid.
  • by Charlie Bill ( 34627 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:11PM (#5246862) Homepage
    get a job paying more than $30,000 a year right out of high school

    Yeah, wait now -- who's hiring again?

    • Re:Presumptions (Score:3, Informative)

      by BluedemonX ( 198949 )
      Dude this was SOP when I couldn't find work a decade ago in Canada. If I had $1 every time someone said "go down to that Nortel and th'll give ya a $60,000 a year job right outa school!" I'd never need to work again.
    • Re:Presumptions (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuuSt ( 151462 )
      Could this be compared to when linuxgruven (or whatever that linux certification training company was) guaranteed that you'd get a job (with them if necessary) after you got your cert?

      Not nearly as bad though.
    • I'd hire a RedHat certified sysadmin for 30k!
    • Re:Presumptions (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MeanMF ( 631837 )
      Yeah, wait now -- who's hiring again?

      A lot of people, if you're an experienced systems administrator who's willing to work for $30,000 a year...
  • hehehe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:12PM (#5246865) Journal
    The highschool students would have to stand in line with the other college degree professionals with many years of experience to get any IT job. Even help desk.

    I had to leave IT and I have several years of experience. Thanks to bootcamps certifications are no more then peaces of paper. A paper is nice but its worthless without experience.

    • Re:hehehe (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MoTec ( 23112 )
      The highschool students would have to stand in line with the other college degree professionals with many years of experience to get any IT job. Even help desk.

      That's not quite true for one reason.


      Kids right out of highschool are willing to work for less than an employer would have to pay someone with a degree or someone with years of experience, or both. Different markets are different and some hungry professional might take a job for $23k a year but a 18 year old is a lot more likely to take that job, expecially when it's offered at $11 an hour or so... Tons more than flipping burgers.
  • Good on many fronts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jgennick ( 59014 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:12PM (#5246869) Homepage
    This is good news from several fronts. One thing I like about it is that it gives high-school students a marketable skill. It's always been a pet peeve of mine that we can send kids to school for 12 years (grades 1-12) and when they come out the other side we still haven't imbued them with skills to make a living.
    • Shop/Trades (Score:3, Informative)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      If they want to make a living, and dont plan on going to college/university, their better off learning a trade down in the shop wing.

      They're much more likely to be brought on as a carpenters/plumbers/welders/machinists apprentice than get a job in an office. They put in their dues on the jobsite, and can wind up a very well paid craftsman.

      A lot of companies are giving up on certifications like this. Many more are looking for people with actual skills with computers and administration. You should be able to hand your IT guy a manual and he should be able to figure out the nuances of the system.

      These children are being done a disservice by this. It's no different than the 'get Microsoft certified and make $50,000 a year' ads blaring on the radio.
      • Why does someone need a degree to work in IT? How is web-page design any different from building a house? How is cabling a network any different from cabling for electricity.

        CCNA, RHCE, LPI, MCSE, PHP/MySQL, DHTML, etc could all be taught right next to welding. Anyone who cn learn the details of fixing a modern car could just as easily learn how to maintain a Cisco router.

        I ask agian, why do you think people who have no college should be banished to the domain of "carpenters/plumbers/welders/machinists"?
        • Re:Shop/Trades (Score:4, Insightful)

          by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @11:17PM (#5247652) Journal
          >> I ask agian, why do you think people who have no college should be banished to the domain of "carpenters/plumbers/welders/machinists"?

          Banished to the domain? Hardly.. Have you any idea what a master plumber or carpenter makes? You're a fool for looking down your nose at people who work with their hands for a living.

          You can get a job in IT with HS education. But chances are that 30k job will pay 30k for the rest of your life.

          If you want a future out of high school, you're better off as a tradesman.

          Besides, people will always need carpenters, contractors, plumbers and electricians. The wont always need a RHCE
        • ...the last 200 million workers that thought they could get the same respect without a college education have since learned differently. You might be able to climb onto the ladder of career advancement, but you'll find out soon enough that climbing up gets harder the farther you try to go without paper. Not all jobs are about the job itself...a career means change and advancement...advancement means higher skills...higher skills means higher education.

          Of course there are exceptions, but the routine is harsh enough that no one can say with confidence that a paper chase won't matter. The world's workforce should be proof enough.
        • Technically they don't.... but put yourself in the position of the hiring company...

          The hiring managers have college degrees...
          The tech leads have college degrees...
          Most of those interviewing you have college degreees...
          There are 5 other applicants with the same skill set and years of experience as you who have college degrees...

          Whom do you think they are going to prune from the list first? Back in the hey day of the dot com era, they didn't have 5 other applicants, you were the only one. They were ecstatic to see you because they were tired of having to hire people with no experience or training. It isn't like that anymore.

          Get a degree.
  • by killthiskid ( 197397 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:14PM (#5246883) Homepage Journal
    According to Google News [], this isn't the only place such things are happening. Many schools are embracing linux, this program is just another great extension of such happenings.
  • I always hear such news and it tends to sadden me, nothing like that was ever available at my high school nor is it at my college despite frequent promises to come up with similar programs. Maybe I should stop paying my 4 year university large sums of money twice a year and go to a boot camp for a few weeks, it might cost more, but some would say I'd get more out of it.
    • but some would say I'd get more out of it.

      Maybe it's just me, but I can't see what you'd possibly be able to get out of a boot camp that you couldn't get out of a good university degree program. (Unless, of course, you're majoring in some sort of liberal art or computer-science derivative diploma program)

      Personally, I attribute much of the tech-sector collapse to places exactly like this. I'm looking at these places where you plunk down some cash and they give you a certificate at the end saying you can run some program or another (Cough cough DeVry cough cough). Sure you can do "what" but not "why". It's the difference between "Programming" in Visual Basic or actually programming something in C++/Perl/insert real language here. You end up saying that you're a computer professional and charge way too much for what you're qualified for and eventually, when the market is saturated with overpaid, underqualified "professionals" it collapses.

      Yeah I'm spending way too much money right now, too, but I'm pretty confident that when I'm done I'm not just going to be able to say "I can do this and this" but I can put on a resume "I know how this works and I can apply all the proper design theories to make sure it continues to work down the road". If you want to go off and throw some money at the "quick fix" easy way out then be my guest.
  • Thats too young! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snosty ( 210966 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:17PM (#5246897) Homepage
    Its nice and all that they are trying to help highschool kids have a future after school but I don't think this is an appropriate choice for training. I have yet to meet anyone "right out of highschool" who has the intellectual maturity (notice I didn't say capacity) to function in a corporate position. This applies especially to positions such as Systems Administration where experience, wisdom and maturity are an absolute necessity.

    I know all the shit-hot teenage geeks out there are going to think I'm out of line for saying this (especially when they feel they are ready to take on the world). I'd recommend they go to University and expand their minds a bit even if they feel it is below them or that they wouldn't learn anything. Don't rush into being a wage-slave, kiddies, its not half as much fun as you think it is.
    • by adjuster ( 61096 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:30PM (#5247003) Homepage Journal

      This applies especially to positions such as Systems Administration where experience, wisdom and maturity are an absolute necessity.

      Ahh-- but the only true wisdom and experience comes from actually doing the work. Being a "junior" sysadmin or an intern under good people is the best training anybody can get. I try to take on at least one (1) intern every summer, and I encourage anybody who wants to see the median level of "suck" in our job field get lower to do the same...

      That is, unless you are a sucky sysadmin to start with... *smirk*

      • Being a "junior" sysadmin or an intern under good people is the best training anybody can get

        I'd have to agree with this. I work with the sysadmin at my school. A fair portion of the class time I work with him is spent fixing all the various problems pertaining to school computers / printers / network. That period is probably where I learn the most each day, much more than in Calc 3. Odd how the highest level math offered in the school seems less useful than those menial computer-fixing jobs.

    • Re:Thats too young! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:31PM (#5247009)
      (I am not going to say that people are going to make 30k out of HS w/this cert, but for shits and giggles, let's go w/it).

      So instead of coming out of high school and starting work at 30k, these kids are going to goto college and pay $10k+/yr for 4 years. They are going to be able to actually afford $3000 of that. So after college they have $30k in debt.

      Now. Instead of going to school they start working at 30k. They have no debts. They have a car, a job, and are gaining experience faster than any college intern for 2 months during two summers.

      I went to school for 4.5 years. I had nearly a full scholarship for athletics. I still have quite a bit to pay off. I have a job that doesn't pay all that great, I am worried about losing my job, I already lost wage increases. I had no experience, I have little money, and I am just as scared as everyone else.

      How is this a bad thing? Get the money first and go back to school later. That's my opinion.
      • Re:Thats too young! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by adjuster ( 61096 )

        How is this a bad thing? Get the money first and go back to school later. That's my opinion.

        I'll second that! I'm taking classes for my B.S. now, since I've decided that my Associate Degree doesn't really satisfy me. I'm amazed and pleased with the changes in my "study ethic" after being in the workforce for six (6) years. I find that I'm applying myself a lot more effectively, both because I've gained maturity in my organizational and time management skills, and because now it's MY money that's financing my education (though it was my money the first time, too... *sigh*).

        I'm also a firm believer that the money you earn early in life is the money that's worth most to you. I'm glad I've spent the last six (6) years investing in my house and in my retirement-- that's years of compounding interest and appreciation of value that I'd have never had if I didn't start working young.

    • As somebody who was shipped of to work at IBM while in HS by the HS I would have to disagree. Starting early is a great idea especialy in intern and other low level jobs that you need to build up a resume. It can also allow people to WORK through school and not start out life so far back in debt. The partys and socalizing of school may be fun and good networking but if mommy and daddy cant pay for it and your not a jock or a perfect student then I would say taking a 2nd shift help desk position of junior admin is a great way to get a leg up on your beer guzzaling friends (you can do that on the weekend like an adult er 20 something :)

      I can see this working very well when combined with a good local after school internship program. It can allow high school students to find a career that they enjoy earn enough money in HS and later to put themselves through school. Yes this is a tough way to do things but I'll teel you this I'll hire a hot teenage geek that loves to do this over some college kid that isn't sure what they want to do with there life.

      BTW dont tell me kids dont know what to do go back a few hundred years and people had families by age 18 and a career this is just our society playing one up on itself every generation.
    • by nvrrobx ( 71970 )
      Okay, I'm not a teenage geek, but I was.

      I know lots of adults that don't have the intellectual maturity to function in a corporate world, so there goes that idea...

      I will admit I wasn't the most mature person right out of high school, but I had a full time sys admin job. If I could have gotten training in high school like this, I would have jumped right on it.

      Believe it or not, spending 4-5 years in college isn't an option for everyone. Public high school is free (other than paying your taxes...) If we can help students be more productive right out of high school, I'm all for it!

      Not to mention, you might turn on a few students to a field they had never thought of. The exposure in high school is a great idea.
    • Re:Thats too young! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by isorox ( 205688 )
      Bang on. I went straight to uni (in the UK) after highschool. I cant believe how little I knew back then. I suck at the course at uni, sure I can get through, and with a little revision and luck I'll get a 2:1 in 6 months time. Thats really irrelevent. It's the experience and skills I've picked up here, managment, leadership, teamwork (yup, thats a biggy). All through student activities.

      Of course I havent worked in a corporate environment, and I dont particularly want to. I have dealt with beurocracy, I have dealt with stupid budget policys (go over budget, get more to spend next year, keep to your budget, get less), 3 day waits to get a cheque (check) signed, etc.

      Half my CV is extra-curricular activities over the last 2 years. When I think now how boring my life would be had I dropped out and worked in a small buisness keeping windows from spontaneously rebooting.

      A friend of mine didnt apply for uni to start with - went to work for an "e-" firm. Got a ton of paper certificates, then tried to get into uni. Didnt try hard, got on a 5 year degree course (not 3 years like most UK ones). He's got 3 years of uni left now, and will have just as many debts as me, if not more, when he graduates - he lives the $30,000+ a year lifestyle on a $5,000 loan cheque). I could have walked arround the world when he graduates!
    • by jascat ( 602034 )
      Me...being a former shit-hot teenage geek...disagree with this move by Redhat. This looks like a ploy to increase its market share by targetting youth who will have very little real world experience if any at all. This will only devalue their certification in the end making it nothing more than another MCSE.

      Unix takes time and experience to learn it effectively. I was in high school not too long ago (almost 4 years) and I know they won't teach Unix. The cirriculum will consist of exactly what is needed to know to pass the test.

      I have met folks who have CCNA's from High School Tech-prep programs...and I wouldn't trust them with two WinXP systems, a hub and two network cables. To stump them, I would ask them what "sh ru" did or what the difference was between a Router and a Layer 3 Switch.

    • I agree with you on several fronts: I believe this initiative is wonderful (I'm from Greensboro and attended Weaver *and* I love Linux, woohoo), but there's something beyond the technical know-how that one can't pick up in a classroom environment. While Red Hat training and certification will certainly make some students more marketable right from the get-go, I think the types of students who will enroll in these classes are a bit more level-headed than the "regular" breed who think too highly of themselves. You can't really impart the workplace ethic, if there is such a thing, to a teenager (generally speaking, I know I'm throwing around stereotypes), but you sure can teach or drive home ethical technology practices.
  • by PissingInTheWind ( 573929 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:18PM (#5246910)
    I like it.

    When they are younger, it's easier to mold their minds.

    Way to go for Linux world domination.
    • Actually, I wouldn't even dare to touch a Mac because of the LC III's that we had to use for programming in Think Pascal. We didn't even have colour like all the other schools did (they used PCs). [Note: This was less than 6 years ago]

      If it wasn't for Mac OS X I would likely still be afraid of Macs thanks to a good schooling.
    • When they are younger, it's easier to mold their minds.

      Erk ... I read that as 'easier to motd there minds.'

      I think it's time I took a break from IRC...
  • by rickthewizkid ( 536429 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:20PM (#5246926)
    ... but back then, I was learning DOS 3.3 (for Apple II) and AppleWorks, becuase "everyone in the future will be using this stuff!"...

    Anyway, I took that seriously, and made damn sure that I *knew* to enter the proper date when Appleworks was starting up, and that I *had* to make sure I had the right disks in the drives.

    (Interesting note: Even in Word 2002, CONTROL-B and CONTROL-L are for bold and underlining, respectively)

    Of course, we all learned how to use Apple DOS (both 3.3 and ProDOS) - we^H^Hthe rest of the class did this for a solid month, during which time I was permitted to play Choplifter, Cannonball Blitz, and Ultima V because I already knew how to use Dos... which *really* pissed the rest of the class off...

    Anyway, to get to my point, I wonder how relavent the things that they learn now will be a few years after they graduate - and I hope it is *concepts* that they learn, instead of cookie cutter "type CATALOG to see a what's on your disk, insert your disk and type PR#6 to start AppleWorks" stuff...

    (Open-Apple-S to save, Open-Apple-P to print)
    • (Interesting note: Even in Word 2002, CONTROL-B and CONTROL-L are for bold and underlining, respectively)
      I'm only running Word 2000, but CONTROL-L appears to do nothing. In order to underline you type CONTROL-U.
      • You're right. Hrmph. Well.. I knew it was Control-*something* :)

        Now I can't remember what it was! But, I'm sure that if I walked through a time warp and ended up in 1992, I would still be able to use AppleWorks. Or, I could use an emulator....

        ..."Insert WP PROGRAM DISK into any drive and press RETURN"
    • by joshuac ( 53492 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:45PM (#5247448) Journal
      ---snip ... but back then, I was learning DOS 3.3 (for Apple II) and AppleWorks, becuase "everyone in the future will be using this stuff!"...

      Anyway, I took that seriously, and made damn sure that I *knew* to enter the proper date when Appleworks was starting up, and that I *had* to make sure I had the right disks in the drives.


      Anyway, to get to my point, I wonder how relavent the things that they learn now will be a few years after they graduate - and I hope it is *concepts* that they learn, instead of cookie cutter "type CATALOG to see a what's on your disk, insert your disk and type PR#6 to start AppleWorks" stuff...


      I'm totally with you, the way things are "taught" is a big pet peeve of mine.

      My school had a similar class to the one you describe, but for various reasons I never found my way into it. I was fortunate enough to have an Apple IIe of my own at home, with a few random reference books for various things. Instead of the rote class learning, I was teaching myself 6502 assembly (because I had a reference to 6502 opcodes and had found a way to get myself into the miniassember that came with Integer Basic), and learning the various subroutines that could be called in DOS 3.3. When I got my hands on 3.3E by begging and stealing from our nazi computer "teacher" at my elementary school, I remember the joy of decompiling 20 instructions at a time to get glimmer of what the minor differences were in the code. As time went on, I taught myself how to automate writing much of my assembly by using WPL, a very under-appreciated scripting language internal to AppleWriter II (well, Don Lancaster knew how good it is). Later, (once I had gotten my hands on the reference books) I taught myself the in's and outs of high level languages like Integer Basic and Applesoft; when I managed to sneak off with a copy of Apple Logo, I learned everything I could about that, because "it's fun to learn what makes things tick!"....meanwhile, the class learned the syntax of various DOS 3.3 commands.

      Anyway, I took nothing very seriously, at that formative age (10 years old) I had found a toy that had limitless possibilities, that could be reprogrammed to perform any task you could conceive. The class was being taught how to operate a tool within narrow confines of specific pre-decided tasks.

      Now, almost 15 years later, what I learned then on that Apple IIe was invaluable; what I learned that was truly valuable was not how to interface with a disk ii controller and count clock cycles for timing in my ML loops, it was that I learned something about learning. The class had learned how to be told what to do.

      The most valuable thing that IIe taught me is that you are fooling yourself if you tell yourself you "know" everything about a subject. When people say they "knew" DOS 3.3 because typing "catalog ,d2" showed them the contents of the second drive on the current controller, I realized they were selling themselves short; there was always more to learn; they didn't "know DOS". But since they assumed they knew everything, there was no room for them to learn more.

      The next most valuable thing I discovered was how to pull something apart and learn how it works, without a master plan in front of you. Too many people have been taught to "learn" by being shown an example, and then emulating. It's faster, it get's the grade school concert band able to push out a few notes in time for their parents to be proud during the winter concert, but rote knowledge is a poor subsititue for actual understanding. Type "pr#6" to boot off the floppy in drive 1, slot 6...does that actually teach you anything about what is going on, or are you just mechanically following directions? When all you learn is to follow directions, inovating when given an unexpected problem is very difficult. When you understand what is happening, you give yourself many more choices, and much more control.

      Anyhow, I learned many of the same subjects that the computer class at my grade school set out to learn. But I suspect that over time I got much more out of my learning experience than those students did, simply because of the way they were forced to learn.

      To make this slightly on-topic, does anyone know how the Redhat classes are taught? Do the teach you think unix, or do they teach you the syntax of commands?
      • We had a computer in every classroom at my school...which sat there doing absolutely nothing (these where all Apple IIEs, and most of them didn't work).

        I was fortunate enough to have one teacher who saw my lust for the knowledge about computers and let me do a workbook about computers for extra credit in the fifth grade. When I had a question, the teacher would let me go see the assistant principal, who was the most knowledgable person in the school in math and technical fields (small elementary school, about 20 teachers, and 3 administrators). So I did the workbook and learned flowcharts, order of operations, and Apple BASIC (on paper), and of course all that silly basic stuff, like what all the "modern" peripherals where (keyboard, tape drive, floppy drive, joystick, printer, monitor, koala pad, and cartridge). Absolutely NOT the learning by playing around with the boxes.

        That summer I joined a program where we had access to actual computers, and I was WAY ahead of the curve. If you want to know something badly enough, any gem of knowledge will be sought preciously, no matter how it is gained. Still...I wonder how much I'd know now if I'd had an actual computer back then when I wanted to know about them more than I wanted anything else.
      • I figure it's time to dust off The Programmer's Stone since it sounds so very much like what you're describing.

        Chapter 1 is especially relevant: Thinking About Thinking []

        They talk in this about "mappers" who build mental maps in their minds that describe meta processes vs "packers" who simply try to memorize packets of information which may be reassembled later to perform various tasks. Very interesting read, and very on-target, I thought.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:21PM (#5246934)
    We would all be complaining and kicking and screaming right now. What's the difference between Redhat and Microsoft? In business terms nothing, they both have share holders to please. Don't become gullible to Redhat, they need to make money too. The only good thing is that they help tow the open source line and are successful in socio-economic terms.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    more people without college degrees working in the IT field. I mean, shucks... Who needs emotional intelligence, improved social skills, exposure to a broad range of topics, writing skills, and all of that other silly things you hopefully pick up in college?

    Seriously, most of the H.S.-diploma-only folks I've ever dealt with in the professional world have chips on their shoulders. Ten times worse than those who went to Ivy League schools, in fact.
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )
      I can't speak for the folks you've personally encountered - but my experience is vastly different.

      Some of the best and brightest I.T. people I've ever had the pleasure of working with didn't possess college degrees.

      By contrast, I'd be a very rich man by now if I had a dollar for every college-degreed "professional" I've seen who can't write a complete sentence to save his/her life.

      If anything, the "chips on the shoulders" of the H.S. diploma only folks were placed there by the jealous majority of college-degreed folks who have lesser skills despite the formal education.

      Social skills, writing skills, exposure to a broad range of topics -- sure, all are valuable and important. Does one need to attend college (or even finish college with a 4 year degree) to have increased levels of any of these? Not that I know of! These skills are developed simply by going through life, trying to be the best person you can be. That means taking a little initiative to learn new things on your own. Most self-taught I.T. people are happy to do this.
  • by adjuster ( 61096 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:26PM (#5246967) Homepage Journal

    But Weaver students can get Red Hat certification free -- and use it get a job paying more than $30,000 a year right out of high school.'

    Oh, sweet $DEITY. They could spend time taking college classes in high school, learning marketable skills that aren't tied to a particular manufacturer's contrivances of what a computer operating system should look and act like, learning to code, READING BOOKS, and end up far valuable "just out of high school" than a little RedHat, Cisco, or Microsoft drone. It seems a little premature (high school) to be focusing so heavily on something so specialized instead of gaining an appreciation and general understanding of computing.

    The kids that come out of these programs (I've got a "Cisco Academy" at a high school close by that I work with, and know people who teach at another high school that's been doing CompTIA "A+" training, and I've gotten to be around some of these kids) are mostly useless drones. The kids that really have potential are the ones that hack around on their own, have a genuine interest, and make something of themselves on their own. I'd take one (1) of them to ten (10) of these "cookie cutter kids". The training is just too specialized-- they can't handle something that wasn't "in the book".

    Don't get me wrong-- I think it's great that schools are expanding their technical training-- but don't expect these kids to be useful for much other than what they've been "trained" for when they get done.

    Those Cisco kiddies can sure make the patch cables, though. Snip-snip, crimp-crimp!

    • it depends.

      I and several others who took a Novell training class our highschool gave with a competent understanding of Novell, our teacher let us futz around with the test machines during off hours. He encouraged us to actively learn this stuff.

      Too bad i never took the novell test and got my CNA. Hindsight's 20/20, I guess.

      Although, I must agree with the cookie cutter thought. one of the people in our class was an A+ certified tech.

      Couldn't figure out how to work PuTTy, or how I managed to hack around ZenWorks to make putty work in place of the default telnet client...

      This person was A+ in both Hardware and the Windows operating system.

      How thick can you get?
  • Vocational training in high school has always provided this type of opportunity. Right now we have IT certs like this one and the CISCO ones we have in my town (and they are grouped with the vocational classes). When I was in high school several of my friends leveraged their vocational training into 30K-40K jobs with various airlines as machinists. When my father was in high school, he leveraged his electronics vocational training into a good paying job (at the time) with the phone company (remember when all telcom was simply 'the phone company'?).

    One big difference though is the lack of unions in IT. Even through crappy economic times and corporate changes my father and friends from high school have continued to do alright--not great, but alright.
  • by Zerbey ( 15536 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:34PM (#5247028) Homepage Journal
    I must applaud this school, and Red Hat for their efforts. I wish they did this 9 years ago when I was at school! I know of several schools in my area offering MCSE and Cisco certifications as well.

    I hope that the school is encouraging the kids to use this new knowlege as a jumpstart into college. Kids: $30,000 a year may sound like a lot when you're living with your parents but it's nothing once you have a mortgage and hungry mouths to feed! With a college degree you can command a much higher salary [1].

    A college placement is much easier to come by if you can say you obtained Linux certs in school and it'll give you a huge advantage over the other students.

    In writing this comment I have had one thought though. When are High Schools going to start teaching kids how to read, write and do arithmetic? I know plenty of people WITH high school dipolmas who can't spell, can barely read and need a calculator for basic arithmetic.

    [1] I'm also hoping that by the time current high school students graduate college the economical climate will have improved and jobs will become available for them.
    • really, a college degree will automatically bring you more than 30k? How about those of us w/jobs and a 4 year degree from a larger University (20k+ students) that don't make 30k?

      How about when I graduated college I was making 9.82/hr. How about the other people I knew at that particular place of employment that were also college grads working for the same or less than I was?

      How about me and one of my co-workers. We both have college degrees. We both work for less than 30k.

      What did college do for me? Pretty much nothing. Don't continue the bullshit that college betters your economic situation. It's not true.
      • See footnote, I never said that you where guaranteed a better job with a college degree I said it helps. Companies are much more likely to hire someone with a college degree than without, regardless of experience. It's sad, but true.
    • I would have to respectfully disagree with you here. I could not afford to go to college and at the time I graduated from HS had no intentions of going to college. I just hated the acedemic lifestyle.

      I joined the military and served 8 years.

      I would take just about any 22 year old with four years of experience from the military over a 22 year old that just graduated from college. There is alot to say for experience.

      Also when I left the military it was for a job at a big bank. They hired me not because of some degree or even a cert but because of the job experience that I had.

      Now grant it I was in a unique situation where the bank hired me to go into an "Academy" program where they basically trained a class of people, mostly new college grads, a few military folks, and a couple of retreads from other careers to become technical and business analysts. This was done to see if they could lower the turnover rate.
      After 6 months of training I started working in a group coding COBOL, DB2, and the like on the mainframe. In the past 5 years at the bank I have never once felt worried about layoffs.

      I guess the moral of my long winded rant is that college is not the end all be all that everyone likes to make it out to be.
    • I love educational topics... so I'm probably going to jump all over this thread. :)

      I hope that the school is encouraging the kids to use this new knowlege as a jumpstart into college.

      Ditto. I was horribly frusted when I got to college to find out that a large portion of the CS students knew nothing about computers at all. It completely blew my mind that you'd get into this field and not have some programming background, or knowledge of any alternative OS. Still, it happens. I like the idea of RH doing this just because it lets high school kids know earlier on that CS is not "knowing how to use MS Word."

      And on a totally different subject:

      In writing this comment I have had one thought though. When are High Schools going to start teaching kids how to read, write and do arithmetic? I know plenty of people WITH high school dipolmas who can't spell, can barely read and need a calculator for basic arithmetic.

      Unfortunately the classroom is fitted toward the majority of students. Some get left in the dust. Some really are of less then average intelligence, but I'm finding out that many are not. All of this comes form my mother, who has recently gotten involved over the past few years with trying to teach learning disabled kids. From her small studies in my home town of only 10,000 people nearly all of the children she helps out are actually of average intelligence or slightly higher, but they just can't keep up in the classroom. It's really become a family interest as to how all this works as my father can't spell for crap, can't read too well, but does math like a duck in water off the top of his head at times. It seems he's dyslexic to a small point but he's managed to work around it. He's 45 now, and it never came up before in his life. He graduated from high school with a 1.8GPA, then went to community college for a year so he could run there and persue his interests in running track. As an academic he's basically a failure, but he started a business with my mother and has been greatly successful with it. My mother's not much different, she can read and write perfectly, but can't do math or any logical reasoning to tell you the truth. I blame the lack of logic on her being a woman though :). She too was labled "dumb" in school, and actually dropped out for various reasons and then went back to get a high school diploma in her early 20's.

      Now, both my parents went to the same high school. The same one I went to, and the same one my middle brother went to, and the same one my youngest brother is currently attending. Both parents were labled "dumb" for lack of a better word while they were there. I've actually had some of my parents -same- teachers when I went to the same high school. It really makes for an interesting case study if you ask me.

      I'm not the smartest peanut in the turd, but I was a decent student. I nailed a 30 on my ACT, as did the middle child, and the youngest got a 27 or so. As I gather this puts us into the IQ range of 130-145 or something collectively. Not trying to toot my own horn, but for the offspring of "dumb" people it's rather odd that we turned out this way.

      Point is, my "dumb" dad can work numbers in his head faster than I can whittle them into a calculator half the time. My "dumb" mother whips through book after book like I do water and corrects my English if I ever put a piece of writing in front of her. Personally, the education system just couldn't work with them, so they got pushed to the side. I'm not bitter about it, as they turned out okay, but you have to wonder how many other people actually get hurt by this.

      Like I said.. a little off topic.

      Like I said... a totally different subject.
  • Training these kids is cool, but don't brainwash them to think they can get a job out of high school. They need more education, and more experience. Can you imagine one of these poor kids dealing with a outage and some suit breathing down their neck. There is far more than having a handful of technical knowledge. Got to know how to handle the whole situation.

    Train them and tell them they have a step ahead of others when they go on to college. Don't tell them they are ready for the real world.
  • by cybergeak ( 318482 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @09:52PM (#5247150)
    my highschool had 2 year Cisco program that started my junior year. I wanted to take it but had a class conflict. In the end it worked out for the best that i didn't take it because it was a 2 year waste of time.

    the instructor was the auto teacher who went through a 6 week course to teach a 2 year program. Any time a student had a question, the teacher didn't have a clue. After 2 years, not a single student was able to pass the certification test, or even think it was worth it to try.

    I got a part time job working the help desk at a local ISP/website development/network administration company my senior year. after working there for 4 months i knew more about router configurations than any of my friends in the 'holy' Cisco program. You can see why i feel highschool programs are bullshit now.

    Applying this to the Red Hat situation, Unless red hat hired and is paying the instructor, its going to be some math teacher, or shop teacher who got a book and a boot camp and he/she will be lost and the kids' time would be better spent reading stuff off of the internet durning a study hall.
  • by Beatnick ( 560520 )
    I think this is good. The youth have had
    Microsoft and Apple experience, why not
    introduce a few of the next generation programmers
    to what will be one of the competing desktops.

    Hopefully an electronic ethics course comes
    along with it all these computer classes
    generally speaking.
  • by moankey ( 142715 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:04PM (#5247209)
    With this type of scenario if it actually pans out we have the Las Vegas effect. Droves of people with decent paying jobs but little or no education (college wise), and a community demanding that people be educated and attend college.
    Why, when you get out of H.S. and work 4 years starting at $30K you still make more than your college counterpart in the long run?
  • Am I wildly jaded (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ellem ( 147712 ) <> on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:16PM (#5247265) Homepage Journal
    or am I right when I think you could make 30K at Walmart?
    • "or am I right when I think you could make 30K at Walmart?"

      Sure you can. Go to college and apply for assistant store manager. If you love manual labor then this is your job. I personally think you are nuts but some people love retail. Beginners pay usually is 7/hr and goes up to 10/hr for a supervisor position or if you have 2 or more years experience. At least thats how it works in Staples. Walmart is very cheap and not real labor friendly. I would apply elsewhere if I wanted to stock shelves.

  • It still sounds like indoctrination to me. Probably the most deeply seated in the history in the war for computing mindshare. MS does nothing like this. Apple just offers hardware discounts... but training kids and "guaranteeing" them jobs? That's fucking twisted. I can't even imagine what the /. thread would look like if "Redhat" were replaced with "Microsoft".
  • but the luckiest of all are those kids studying under the Woz....

  • Too young? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zachlipton ( 448206 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:40PM (#5247410)
    A lot of posters have commented that they belive that it's "too young" to be learning this stuff and be "shipped off" to a job. As a high school student myself (14), I really disagree.

    Getting certification does not mean that one can need not go to college. However, gaining skills and then applying them, typically in a job-like setting, offers a huge set of advantages.

    Internship opportunities allow you to actually _use_ these skills and do something productive with your time. Imagine if all the "14 year-old script kiddies" could put their hacking skills to use on something, whether it be Cisco routers or adding features to samba (just to name a random project). OSS gives great amounts of opportunities for students to apply their technology skills in a productive way, but this isn't enough.

    Schools need to help students learn these skills and give them opportunities to use them. Would I have survived 8th grade had I not been running the lighting and sound for nearly all school productions and maintaining the school website? Probably not. Besides, it's clear that it is "fun" to crack into various systems, but what if that could be done in a productive way too? That's just what I did last week when I (at the request of the technology department) discovered that my school's security model resembles swiss cheese (I'm still trying to get them away from Windows... :(

    Furthermore, there are some situations where just working on random hacking projects won't do. This is where an internship comes in handy: being able to apply your skills in some sort of useful way while learning. Here, there are no real expectations that you have to know how to do this or that, just lots of abilities to learn new things and try them out.

    If anything, schools need to do more to encourage students to get involved in the field. Have students be working on something productive, whether it is building cgi scripts for the school website to working as an intern for the summer (or even for a two-week break), and you will see a group of students that are more prepared to face the world and have a thirst to learn more: exactly what is provided by a college education. You may even see a few less students smiling smugly when you discover that the school website was cracked yet again.
  • case study (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2003 @10:47PM (#5247459)
    It's funny, some people think $30k isn't anything, others think there's no way a HS grad could pull in $30k right out of HS with a RH cert. I'm going to be 20 years old in a few days, and here is my life in a nutshell. Perhaps it will give someone else insight as to the paths they might take at this early stage in life.

    At age 9 I mowed 3-4 lawns a day for a summer and bought my first computer for $400. I hacked on it 24/7. It has been to my benefit, IMO, that I have never been big on games, because boy are they a waste of time. I did a lot of QBASIC.
    I got my first job at a small (10 person) startup IT consulting firm at age 15, broke all child labor laws working 60-80 hrs a week (by choice mind you), and made $8/hr. My 1 year raise was $.25/hr. A few months later, I got knocked up to $9/hr. During this time I did mainly VB programming. At this point, the company fired their router guy, so I jumped right in and filled the gap. I soon obtained my CCNA and soon after ask for, and recieved, a salary of $32,000, before my 17th birthday.

    I then obtained my MCP because we were a Windows shop. I was still at this point 50/50 programmer/tech. I couldn't decide what my pasion was for. IT company started going downhill, a few days before my 19th bday I baled and got a job at a financial institution - titled 'network technician' on a team of about 4 techs, however I am the network administrator by any definition, I have the responsibility (but not the title) of the security administrator, as well as Exchange administrator (to my agony). I just obtained my MCSA as part of my job objectives for the last 6 month period. At this point I am making $42,000.

    I took 12 credit hours at a community college back when I was 16, and am realizing now that especially in the field of network security a degree is important not just for the piece of paper to show the suits, but anyone really does benefit from the well-rounded education you get along the way. I intend to continue attending university part time for as long as it takes. I love my job, my hobby. I am now purchasing a house, enjoying being married, and looking forward to every day I get to go to work, and excited that I have the oppourtunity continue my college education...
  • A piece of paper? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daanji ( 631740 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @11:22PM (#5247672)
    Yes, a degree is a piece of paper. A piece of paper that represents experience, technical fortitude, and problem solving. ( it depends of where you get the education ) I'm grossly tired of many slashdotters denotting ALL degrees/certifications as useless. That is not true in ALL cases. There are some programs or educational facilities that just want your money. However, most colleges or cerification programs that I have seen are worth taking. In certain situations it is not possible to teach your self how everything works because your can't afford the equipment, books, or understand the material. Colleges, for a modest fee (tuition) will let you play with VERY expensive equipment. Thus you gain experience. I agree experience it better than book knowledge. College is about both. The two interplay nicely to create a rounded employee, not some drone. Certifications are ok, degrees are good, and experience is best, but I believe all three are necessary. You can't rely on just one. Honestly, I have never seen any corporation that expects their employees to know everything and have experience in everything. Most of the corporate life is on the job training. In the end, the most imporant lesson is learn how to learn. Experience won't help in every situation, nor will a cert or a degree. But knowing how to learning will always be there to solve any problem.
  • $30k??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sean23007 ( 143364 ) on Thursday February 06, 2003 @11:23PM (#5247677) Homepage Journal
    God, I hope they don't advertise the $30000 salary right out of high school too much. Kids should want to take this class to learn the stuff, not to make $30k the next year. Because it just isn't that much, and there isn't that much potential for a higher salary for someone who takes a job straight out of high school.

    This sounds like a good way for a lot of promising young kids to get absolutely screwed (and not in the good way that most of them wouldn't mind).
  • looked at it... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flogger ( 524072 ) <non@nonegiven> on Friday February 07, 2003 @12:45AM (#5248107) Journal
    and sure, for the students it is free, but for the schools it is 35-40 thousand dollars. That is BIG bucks for a school district. (At least it is for mine.) Why not give the whole program to the schools for almost nothing (Like MS did with office 5-6 years ago) and then teh kids will want it when they get out of school. Then when they got those $30K/year jobs they can pay for their own personal liscence.
    Bottom line: too damn expensive for schools.
  • by pyite ( 140350 )
    My high school was ahead of pretty much every school in the area in starting up a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) program. In fact, we were the first high school in the world to use the new Cisco Curriculum or something last year. However, the program is only as good as the students. You can't take your typical pretty girl who only uses her computer for AIM, Word, and browsing to routing guru over the course of the program (and our program was four literal semesters, two years). It just doesn't happen. The students should have a good grasp of the concepts they're going over and most of all, want to learn. I'm probably one of the few who actually got something out of the program.
  • First off, does Red Hat have any concrete advantages over other *NIXen for systems administration? Don't sell your personal favorite, just state the facts, please. :)

    Second, does the Red Hat certification training provide reasonably bias-free instruction in regards to different *NIXen?

    The second is far more relevant then the first, but I'm curious about both.
  • Before we start shouting about how kids should go to college, or how Redhat is indoctrinating their pliable minds, let's try to view the situation as it is. The kids are going to learn some things about network administration.. granted not as much as they would in the real world, but certainly more than I know. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but someone who's learned redhat admin should be able to use any linux system(such that you can learn from a class). It looks as though they will get some linux exposure. I agree with those who say that the promise of a certain salary should be thrown out the window. Kids should take the class to learn linux/networks, not to replace college, but there certainly are good things about this. When I was in school I had two options for computer classes. I could take business classes for the PC(Windows), or for the Mac. I chose the PC because I could fiddle with them more... but they wouldn't let me fiddle. They kicked me out several times for writing QBasic programs instead of doing my MS Works homework(even though I did enough to come out with an A). I started programming in C and got kicked out because they got a virus and I was the only one who knew how to write one. The only virus I ever wrote was really lame(it just copied to and sent random junk to random ports) and I certainly never ran it on a school computer. We had a Novell network that they wouldn't let me mess with. I had to write a login patch to get the labtech password. I couldn't even use the library computer.. I had to bring a boot disk to get past their lame menu program so I could write my pathetic programs. All this trouble just because I wanted to make circles move around. If I had the oportunity to learn I might have been able to actually do something useful. The point I'm trying to make is that at least this will allow the kids to fiddle with something they normally wouldn't fiddle with.
  • But don't expect 30K a year right away, especially not in this economy.

    Get some experience too in any way you can!

  • If I remember, MS used to make a specific point about their MCSEs needing less qualification and thus less pay than Linux admins. Perhaps this is just Redhat's way of countering that--Get intelligent high school kids who can get the job done adequately into the job market without a degree and suddenly total cost of ownership drops like a brick.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.