Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Getting Certified


In today’s rapidly changing system administration landscape, skills and credentials count for a lot, but professional certification can also make a difference. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five valuable types of certification for sysadmins along with relevant training options.

Linux credentials

As mentioned previously, Linux provides the foundation for many servers and cloud deployments, as well as mobile devices. And, several salary studies have shown that Linux-savvy sysadmins are better compensated than others.

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Meanwhile, training options for Linux-focused sysadmins are expanding. For professional certification, CompTIA Linux+ is an option, as are certifications from Linux Professional Institute. The Linux Foundation’s Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) is another good choice. These educational options delve into everything from managing file permissions and partitioning storage devices to troubleshooting filesystem issues.

Sysadmins without much previous experience may want to consider the Introduction to Linux online course, which is delivered through a partnership between The Linux Foundation and edX. The course is hugely popular and can help with basic preparation for the Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin Exam.

Platform-specific certification

Many organizations are in need of sysadmins who have specialized and specific skillsets surrounding the core technology platforms that they run. For example, organizations based on Red Hat’s platform technology may prefer to hire a Red Hat Certified System Administrator. This credential is earned after successfully passing the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Exam (EX200). Likewise, training and certification are available for SUSE Certified Administrators, for Microsoft-focused administrators, for VMware administrators, and for numerous other platforms.

CompTIA Server+ hardware, network and security certification

Today’s IT environments demand more planning, better security, and more maintenance than ever before, and CompTIA offers an array of entry-level certifications, including A+ for hardware technicians, Network+ for network admins and Security+ for security specialists. These certification have earned recognition among hiring managers, and they can help a sysadmin land a job or serve as a good platform for obtaining a more targeted type of certification. HP, Intel, and the U.S. Department of Defense are all among organizations that employ CompTIA Server+-certified staffers.

Cloud certification

Salary studies show that sysadmins fluent with the cloud command more pay. As mentioned previously, 51 percent of surveyed hiring managers said that knowledge of cloud platforms has a big impact on open source hiring decisions, according to the 2016 Linux Foundation/Dice Open Source Jobs Report. If you search recruitment sites for sysadmin positions that demand cloud skills you’ll see that opportunities abound. There are positions that require strong cloud monitoring skills, and jobs that demand facility with both open source and popular public cloud platforms.

A sysadmin who holds the Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack credential has demonstrated the skills, needed to create, configure, and manage private clouds using Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Red Hat’s training for this certification covers configuring and managing images, adding compute nodes, and managing storage using Swift and Cinder.

Mirantis and other vendors also offer certified OpenStack administrator curriculum. The Linux Foundation offers an OpenStack Administration Fundamentals course, which serves as preparation for certification, and the course is available bundled with the COA exam. The OpenStack Foundation works directly with The Linux Foundation to make the Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) exam available.

Cloud Foundry Developer Certification

Many sysadmins have experience with scripting, and some have experience with full-blown application development. For those with some scripting and development skills, Cloud Foundry Developer Certification is an emerging credential worth looking into. It’s a professional cloud-native developer certification that can be earned through a performance-based exam that evaluates knowledge of the Cloud Foundry platform.

Next time, we’ll consider some non-technical skills that are equally important for sysadmins looking to advance their careers.

Learn more about essential sysadmin skills: Download the Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career ebook now.

Read more:

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: An Introduction to Essential Skills 

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: New Networking Essentials

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Locking Down Security

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Looking to the Cloud

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Configuration and Automation

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Embracing DevOps

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Getting Certified

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Communication and Collaboration

Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Advancing with Open Source