Certified Systems Administrator Certification and Career

Certification as a computer systems administrator can help validate your skills and knowledge to potential employers. Find out about the requirements for certification, and get information on career opportunities and salary expectations for this career. Schools offering Computer Systems Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Systems administrators manage the routine, day-to-day operations of an organization's computer network, including the software, servers and all other devices used in the network. If you are working in an Apple environment, macOS certification can enhance your credibility as a systems administrator. Certification in Microsoft systems administration is earned through the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credential. Since the type of certification required by an employer depends on the technology they use, there is a wide range of other certifications that can benefit systems administrators.

Certifications Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), VMware VCP6-DCV, macOS (ACSP and ACA), CompTIA Server+, Oracle Linux System Administrator, Red Hat RHCE
Programs Many certification programs are provided through training partners around the globe; training programs are offered in traditional classroom settings and online/on-demand
Median Salary (2017)* $81,100 (network and computer systems administrators)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Certified System Administrator Programs are Available?

System administration certification through Microsoft is offered through the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credential, a widely recognized standard for IT professionals. It demonstrates the ability to manage systems across many technologies, including servers and cloud computing.

MacOS certifications can enhance your credibility as a systems administrator or engineer working in an Apple environment. You'll be qualified to manage a network of Mac OS X operating systems, as well as complex, multi-platform networks.

There are many other types of certifications that can demonstrate your knowledge and capabilities as a systems administrator. Here are examples of other common certifications:

  • Red Hat RHCE
  • CompTIA Server+
  • ServiceNow Certified System Administrator
  • VMware VCP6-DCV
  • Oracle Linux System Administrator
  • LPIC System Administrator

What Will I Learn?

The Apple certification program provides you with in-depth knowledge of Apple technical architecture, installation and machine configuration. You'll learn how to integrate Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server and other Apple technologies and network architecture. Courses prepare you to take the following required certification exams:

  • Apple Certified Associate (ACA) - Mac Integration Basics
  • Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) credential covers a range of specialties. What you learn will depend on the specialty you seek. Here are the different MCSE certifications offered by Microsoft:

  • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • Business Applications
  • Data Management and Analytics
  • Productivity
  • Mobility

Oracle, Red Hat, CompTIA and VMware training programs also cover topics that will prepare you to take the exams associated with the respective certifications.

Can I Earn My Certification Online?

Microsoft and other credentialing organizations offer online/on-demand certification programs. Apple certification is offered through Apple-authorized training centers as classroom-based programs and online learning. If you've already earned your macOS certification on an earlier operating system, you may take a recertification exam online.

What's the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for network and computer systems administrators were expected to increase 6% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $81,100 in 2017.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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