What Can I Do With a Linux Certification?

Written by Coursera Staff • 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 a Linux certification, and taking the Linux exam.

[Featured image] A person in a floral blouse sits at a desk and studies for a Linux certification on dual computer monitors.

Getting certified is an excellent way to showcase your value as a Linux systems administrator. There is an apparent demand for Linux skills; certification exams can help set you apart from other job candidates. Many different types of Linux certifications exist. You can use your information about your company's systems to direct you to the offerings that best match your needs.

Advantages of Linux certification

Getting certified in Linux systems is a strategic way to elevate yourself professionally. Hiring companies often use peer-level interviews to evaluate candidates' expertise in Linux systems. Certification exams require a high level of knowledge and are a valuable way to expand your knowledge.

Linux certificate holders generally make more money than their non-certified counterparts. For instance, a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) earns an average annual salary of ₹8,90,000 [1], while a Linux system administrator earns an average salary of  ₹4,84,386 [2].

Career opportunities 

Many tech careers can benefit from a Linux certification. A couple of professions that value knowledge of Linux systems include:

  • Network analysts. Network analysts working with Linux software can use Linux system certifications to increase their knowledge of configuration processes. 

  • Systems administrators. Systems administrators often use Linux to conduct network analytics and monitor system performance. A Linux system administration certificate can aid them in troubleshooting, data collection, and analysis processes.

Other jobs that could benefit from a Linux certification include IT security specialists and Linux engineers. Most network architecture and operation tech professionals can gain valuable skills by completing Linux certification exams.

Types of Linux certifications 

You can pursue several types of Linux certifications depending on your personal goals and prior experience. In addition to certification exams for specific disciplines, Linux has widely applicable general knowledge certifications.

Linux+ CompTIA

The Linux+ CompTIA Certification offers the foundational skills and knowledge you need to work with Linux systems. It is often considered the baseline certification for Linux users. This Linux certification covers the command line, installation, configuration, and basic networking applications. It also offers critical knowledge for Linux systems maintenance. 

This general-purpose certification is suitable for someone with limited knowledge of Linux systems or new to the field of expertise. Earning this certification is an excellent starting point for those pursuing other Linux certificates. You can use it to familiarise yourself with foundational Linux concepts and the certification exam process.

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Certifications

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) is an organisation that offers a multiple-tier Linux certification programme. The programme includes specialised professional certifications based on knowledge and experience level. There are three categories of LPI certifications you can explore:

1. Essentials. The Essentials program is for beginners who want to demonstrate their abilities. It includes two exams: 

2. Linux Professional. The Linux Professional programme was designed to evaluate the skills of Linux systems administrators. It includes six performance-based exams:

  • LPIC-1: No prerequisites, 60 questions, 90 minutes. A five-year validity period is unless retaken or a higher level is achieved. 

  • LPIC-2: Active LPIC-1 certification required, 60 questions, 90 minutes. A five-year validity period is unless retaken or a higher level is achieved. 

  • LPIC-3, Security: Active LPIC-2 certification required, 60 questions, 90 minutes. Five-year validity period.

3. Open Technology. The open technology programme evaluated skills and knowledge of open technology tools. It includes two exams:

  • DevOps Tools Engineer: No prerequisites; LPIC-1 certification is strongly recommended. 60 questions, 90 minutes, five-year validity period.

  • BSD Specialist: No prerequisites; at least one year of BSD system administration or a relevant certificate from a developer exam is strongly recommended. 60 questions, 90 minutes, five-year validity period.

The Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator Exam (RHCSA) is a high-value option for software admins. Red Hat has three primary certification levels: Red Hat Systems Administrator, Red Hat Engineer, and Red Hat Architect. Each layer increases in specificity and difficulty. The RHCSA exam is a prerequisite for those wishing to earn the Red Hat Certified Engineer Certification (RHCE).

How to get a Linux certification

To earn a Linux certification, you must pass the certification exam. You can explore several options to prepare for these exams, such as boot camps, classes, and courses. Coursera offers several courses on Linux systems ranging from introductory to advanced levels. Each is led by industry leaders and universities, like IBM's Hands-On Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting.

Boot camps 

Boot camps are online packages with instructional videos, resources, and literature to outline your exam's significant concepts and tasks. These boot camps are designed to help you understand whichever Linux concept you choose so you can pass your exams and receive any certifications. Top companies such as Netflix, Volkswagen, and Box recommend specific boot camps for employees to learn the ins and outs of Linux systems.

Certification courses 

Certification courses often include lessons, hands-on experience, and interactive content that you can use to prepare yourself for a Linux certification. For instance, if you plan to take the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate Exam, you must possess fundamental IT skills and foundational expertise in cloud computing. You can use the Learning Linux for LFCA Certification Specialisation to prepare.

Take the next step with Coursera

Consider enrolling in a course when you're ready to start studying for your Linux certification. The Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Coursera is ideal for beginners. 

Article sources


Payscale. “Average Red Hat Certified Engineer Salary, https://www.payscale.com/research/IN/Certification=Red_Hat_Certified_Engineer_(RHCE)/Salary.” Accessed March 28, 2024.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

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.