Main Certification Paths Every System Administrator Should Pursue

The system administrators are regarded as 360-degree professionals. Their job roles may include operational knowledge of almost all operating systems, ranging from IOS to Windows and Linux. No doubt, if you are a newbie in the IT industry, the prerequisite for taking up a job title as a system admin can be daunting. The learning process is tedious and requires high cerebral capacity but you can attain it if you put your mind to it. It may take time to get familiar with all the technologies, but you will definitely do it if you apply it yourself. If you are considering pursuing this career path, you can explore various certification tracks that will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to function in this job role. Undoubtedly, the IT certificates are the perfect way to get started in the field of Information Technology. In this guide, we take a look at the certification paths you should pursue as a system administrator. Here they are:

Microsoft Server Technology

The Server credentials, especially Microsoft Server, are compulsory fundamentals for the system administrators. The organizations across the world utilize different products of Microsoft, especially its operating system. These include Active Directory Server, Exchange Server, Domain Controller, and Terminal Server. These different functions are designed for the IT infrastructure of companies. This means the professionals who want to take up a system administrator role must have a good understanding of how to keep these systems functioning optimally. You might currently be using Server 2012 R2 but there is a significant increase in the market share of Server 2016, which means you need to upgrade your skills. With the Microsoft Server Technology certification, you can choose to specialize in particular server operating system administration, which will be a crucial springboard in your system admin career.

Microsoft Desktop

The Desktop certificates have become as critical as the Server credentials to the system administrators. In some cases, they are even more crucial. Most of the workstations in the organizations function on various versions of Microsoft desktop operating systems, and there is a high chance that you will begin your career journey working with these OS. Earning one of the Microsoft certifications will give you an edge when searching for your first job and channel your career tracks to systems development, IT management, or system security. If you are just starting out in the IT industry, the CompTIA A+ and Network+ credentials will be a great place to start you journey. These certificates will equip you with the basic concepts and skills needed to function optimally with IT systems in any company. The certifications validate your understanding of desktop operating systems and servers in the Microsoft range of products.

Microsoft Server 2016 PowerShell

Formerly, PowerShell used to be limited to Microsoft. However, recently, Microsoft has increased its quota of PowerShell with its Server 2016. As a matter of fact, it has made as an open source. Suffice to mention that PowerShell used many pages of its scripting languages from the Linux and Unix systems. Over the years, it has created a strong command-line environment for the professional system administrators to administer, maintain, and monitor their systems.


For most system administrators, the Linux and Unix based systems are uncharted territories that should be avoided. Interestingly, Linux OS is fully practical and effective desktop and server alternatives. Contemporary systems depend largely on graphical interfaces and the fact is that different Linux systems have built the environments that meet these demands. This OS is the command line all through for many system administrators and you can trust that there are many excellent Linux text editors in the market today. You can start your journey into this world by taking a bit of training to equip you with the knowledge you need to achieve your desired IT credential. There are numerous theories that will help you understand how the operating system treats configuration files, storage units, and devices.


The world of business has begun to embrace the concept of Apple devices. The devices are no longer restricted to the creative landscape. The Apple products have crossed the boundaries of exclusivity to the general terrain of enterprises. With this development, it makes a lot of sense for the system administrators to begin working towards becoming Apple certified. If you are still skeptical about the idea of getting an Apple certification, you might want to start by learning all about IOS and macOS. It is interesting to note that the Mac operating system is built on the graphical version of Unix, known as BSD. Because it is a closed source in nature, it’s not freely available like you have with Linux. However, the skills and knowledge gathered in the process of earning a Linux credential will significantly enhance your productivity as a system administrator. In addition to this, earning the Linux certificate will also be of a great distinguishing factor for you when looking for a job.


Although virtualization is not an operating system it goes together with any OS certification. No doubt, virtualization has changed the server world and has turned it into a more reliable and compact force within the last two decades. There are various options available today, which include VMware, Xen, and Hyper-V. Many organizations across the world have embraced these products to significantly minimize their costs and increase their uptime as well as reliability (the products with the function of one server and multiple CPUs). In addition to this, it uses huge system memory, translating the resources to virtual machines on the storage platform. Based on the specific set up, the virtual machines may require additional resources for a particular purpose and then transmit them into the resource pool when it is not in use again. It is all about creating effectiveness that was not available on the conventional physical servers.


The above highlighted operating systems are some of the main ones that you will come across as a system administrator in the course of your career. Earning the certifications related to these systems will definitely increase your marketability and your value in the workplace.