December 26, 2016

Hello Linux Community, do i need a degree to get an entry level job as a Linux SysAdmin ? or Linux Certificate is enough ?

Answer to the question

No, you don't have to have a degree.

To get any job, including working as a Linux SysAdmin, you'll have to demonstrate that you can leap these four hurdles:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Do they like you?
  3. Is hiring you a risk?
  4. Can you and they work out the money?

If you can set hiring authorities' minds at ease in those four areas, you can get the job.  

A certification can demonstrate that you have a personal passion and desire to advertise competency.  But building a personal lab (even a virtual one) with Linux desktops and servers, publishing articles or blogs on Linux, having a YouTube channel on Linux, strongly participating in a Linux distribution support forum, and/or donating to a Linux project would go further with me than a generic degree.  All of those things take less time and money than a degree, and you'll learn more and have more fun with Linux in the process.

By the way, I have a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering.  I started my Linux education about 2 years ago in my personal time.  I don't have a degree or certification in it.  I currently work as a Network Engineer.  But I have a lab with Linux OSes.  I have personally helped over a dozen people in my circle of family and friends convert to Linux.  I donate to a Linux distribution called Linux Lite, and I am a forum moderator for that same Linux distribution.  In that forum, I have over 900 postings.  Most are of me helping someone with a problem.  You don't have to be a moderator to do that, and it is something you can put on a resume.  

I'm not advising that you chase certifications.  At this point, it wouldn't hurt.  It could help your phone ring in a meaningful way.  But make sure you get the experience by helping others with Linux and creating a lab of Linux virtual machines so you'll have something meaningful to talk about in an interview.

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