Linux Certified Professional (LCP) Certification and Degree Programs

Check your certification options in Linux, an open-source operating system. Review the credentials that you can pursue and the eligibility and examination requirements for each. Find out if you can prepare for the certification exam through online training. Get more info on the exam itself, and check the job outlook and typical earnings of Linux professionals. Schools offering Computer Systems Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Linux Certified Professional Certification Programs Can I Take?

Regardless of which Linux certification exam you plan to take, several certificate and preparatory programs that may be of interest to you. While there isn't a designation specifically in Linux Certified Professional (LCP), there are currently four common types of Linux certification credentials you can work towards. The CompTIA Linux+ and Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 1 (LPIC-1) are general certification credentials that aren't specifically designed for any type brand of Linux. There are also certification exams for Red Hat Linux and Linux Professional 11.

Types of CertificationCompTIA Linux+, Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 1 (LPIC-1), Red Hat Linux, Linux Professional 11
Key SkillsDesigning Linux systems, administration, system security, command line use, file management
Online AvailabilitySome programs can be completed online
Exam TopicsDepending on the exam, students will be tested on their general ability to navigate and operate within the Linux system, as well as more specialized topics
Salary$75,790* (median salary in 2014 for network and computer systems administrators)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Are Linux Certificate Programs Structured?

Although you can find separate programs for each type of certification, you'll also find some schools that group certifications together. For example, since the CompTIA Linux+ and LPIC-1 certifications are vendor-neutral, you'll find that some schools design their training programs to prepare you to take both exams. Both the CompTIA and LPIC-1 exams test you on general entry-level Linux skills and processes. If you're an advanced user or already have CompTIA Linux+ or LPIC-1 certification, there are LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 exams as well.

Red Hat and Linux Professional 11 training programs cover the skills necessary to work on each of those operating systems exclusively. All of these programs, whether they are brand-specific or not, will typically cover different skills and knowledge necessary for designing, administering and developing Linux systems, including data communication, system security, file management and command line use.

Can I Complete Any of These Programs Online?

You'll find a few Linux programs that you can complete over the Internet. Most schools recommend that you have a DSL or other type of high-speed Internet connection to take online courses. It's also a good idea to make sure you have updated anti-virus software, since you will be downloading and uploading course materials and completed assignments. Many schools will require you to submit your work using Microsoft Office software like MS Word or MS Excel. Otherwise, you'll be able to participate in your class through a standard Internet browser and software like Adobe Acrobat or Real Player.

How Are The Certification Exams Designed?

The LPIC-1 exam is comprised of two exams that will test you on your ability to configure and customize all aspects of a Linux system to cater to a specific user's needs. The CompTIA Linux+ exam covers much of the same material and if you pass the CompTIA Linux+ exam, you may have your exam results sent to Linux Professional Institute for the LPIC credential. The LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 exams will test your knowledge of advanced skills in development, security and systems management.

Red Hat offers both technician (RHCT) and engineer (RHCE) performance-based exams. The RHCT exam covers entry-level Linux skills, while the RHCE exam tests your knowledge of the development and configuration of a Red Hat Linux operating system. Novell offers a Linux Professional 11 and Linux Professional 10 exams. The Professional 11 exam covers basic duties that you'd handle on Novell's SUSE Linux server operating system, while the Professional 10 exam is designed for professionals who are interested in becoming certified SUSE system administrators.

What Can Linux Certification Do For My Career?

If you're interested in an entry level Linux system administrator position, a CompTIA Linux+ or LPIC-1 credential may help you get started in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2014 median annual salary for network and systems administrators was $75,790 ( Advanced certification credentials, such as LPIC-2, LPIC-3 or RHCE are usually for systems development managers. In 2014, the BLS determined that computer systems managers earned a median hourly salary of $61.37.

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:

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