What Can I Do With a Linux Certification?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Explore the benefits of obtaining a certification in Linux and which type is best for you. Learn more about career opportunities, how to get Linux certification, and taking the Linux exam.

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Whether you’re pursuing a general Linux certification or a certification for a particular Linux distribution, getting certified is an excellent way to showcase your value as a Linux systems administrator.

There is a clear demand for Linux skills, and certification exams can be a valuable asset to set you apart from other job candidates familiar with Linux systems. There are several different types of Linux certifications, and any information you have about your company’s systems can give you a better direction of which certificate will match your needs.

Advantages of Linux certification

Getting certified in Linux systems is a strategic way to elevate yourself within the professional world. Hiring companies often use peer-level interviews to evaluate a candidate's expertise in Linux systems. Certification exams require a high level of knowledge and are a valuable way to expand your existing knowledge.

Certificate holders of Linux systems make on average $4,000 more than their non-certified counterparts. Linux systems professionals with Red Hat certifications (RHCE) can make up to $22,000 more per year than their counterparts without Red Hat certifications [1]. Having a Linux certification under your belt is certainly an advantage when going through the job search process.

Career opportunities 

There are plenty of tech careers where a Linux certification would be advantageous. Network analysts working with Linux software and configuring network processes could utilize any number of Linux system certifications.

Any profession that has to deal with troubleshooting data networks and creating network solutions could utilize knowledge of Linux systems. Any systems administrator who monitors the network and keeps systems operating correctly, and uses Linux to conduct network analytics would undoubtedly increase their knowledge and value in their position with a Red Hat or other Linux distribution certification.

Read more: How to List Certifications on Your Resume: Guide + Examples

Other jobs or positions that could benefit from a Linux certification, such as IT security specialists or Linux engineers, could be fantastic candidates for these certification exams. Anyone who deals with network architecture or any network operations, especially on Linux systems, could find value in exploring several certification exams depending on their goals and profession.

These certifications could benefit anyone in the job market or currently working in any of these jobs by providing knowledge, value, and experience for your desired position.

Types of Linux certifications 

You can pursue several types of Linux certifications depending on your goals and experience. Linux has general knowledge certifications as well as certification exams for specific distributions.

Linux+ CompTIA

Linux+ CompTIA offers the foundational knowledge and skills to work with Linux systems. This certification covers the command line, installation, configuration, and basic networking applications. It also covers all critical knowledge for beginning to configure and maintain Linux systems. This general-purpose certification may be better suited for someone who has limited knowledge of Linux systems and may provide significant foundational knowledge to pursue other certificates in the future.

LPI (Linux Professional Institute)

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) is a multiple-tier Linux certification program. This program offers Linux Administrator, Linux Engineer, Linux Enterprise Professional, and Linux Security Professional, among other certifications. LPI offers multiple specific certifications dependent on your knowledge and experience level and can provide the proper accreditation based on your needs to supplement your career.

Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator (RHCSA) is a Red Hat Systems certification highly sought after for administrators using Red Hat software specifically. Red Hat has three primary levels of certification: Red Hat Systems Administrator, Red Hat Engineer, and Red Hat architect, each layer increasing in specificity and difficulty.

For a good start learning more about Linux systems, enroll in Learning Linux for LFCA Certification Specialization offered through LearnQuest.


How to get a Linux certification

To receive any of the several Linux certifications available, you must pass a certification exam. You can explore several options to prepare for these exams, such as bootcamps, classes, and courses. On Coursera, you can find several introductory to advanced courses on various Linux systems offered by top companies and universities.

Several bootcamps and training programs can also help you prepare for these exams. Most websites that offer the exams have training programs to guide you to prepare for your certification exam.


Bootcamps are online packages with instructional videos, resources, and literature to outline your exam's significant concepts and tasks. These bootcamps are designed to help you grasp a foundational understanding of whichever Linux concept you choose so you can pass your exams and receive any number of certifications. Top companies such as Netflix, Volkswagen, and Box recommend specific bootcamps for their employees in their journey to learn the ins and outs of Linux systems.

Find out more about choosing a bootcamp - How to Choose a Data Science Bootcamp


Certification courses 

Certification courses are classes for students studying to pass a certification exam. These courses often include lessons, hands-on assignments, and interactive content for you to best prepare yourself for any Linux certification. Each exam has a variety of courses to choose from to best prepare you to pass. Several courses are on Coursera to give you background knowledge of many different Linux systems.

On Coursera, Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting offered by IBM, and Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux through Red Hat are excellent starting points for your journey into Linux programming.

Taking the Linux exam 

The CompTIA Linux+ exam is often considered the baseline certification for Linux users. This exam requires you to renew this certification periodically. This exam covers the basic Linux concepts essential for managing Linux systems. For those with basic knowledge and experience with these types of systems, this exam is not considered to be difficult.

This exam is a great way to begin marketing yourself as a Linux Systems professional. Since there is a broad scope of other Linux systems you can pursue certifications for, this exam is a great way to familiarize yourself with foundational Linux concepts and the certification exam process.

Next steps

There are several kinds of Linux distributions and systems that have certifications offered. After completing the CompTIA Linux+ exam, you can pursue a number of Red Hat, Linux Professional, and other certificates to continue your Linux journey.

The possibilities of supplementing your career and enhancing your skills are endless. Any Linux certification is an excellent resume booster and provides hands-on experience and knowledge for the workplace.

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Article sources

1. CBT Nuggets. "Are Linux Certifications Worth It?, https://www.cbtnuggets.com/blog/certifications/open-source/are-linux-certifications-worth-it." Accessed March 25, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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