At a minimum, Linux professionals need a high school diploma or its equivalent for employment. However, most employers seek Linux professionals with a formal education along with relevant skills and experience. Applicants most often obtain an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science, although other common fields include mathematics or information systems. In addition, some go on to earn a Linux administration certificate. Lab experience may be part of the curriculum.
Associate of Science in Computer Science
A 2-year associate's degree in computer science provides students with a solid foundation in computer literacy and information systems. Most associate's degree program credits are easily transferable to a 4-year bachelor's degree program in computer science. Students take courses in:
- Problem solving
- Windows programming
- Computer architecture
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Bachelor's degree students learn about mathematics, technical computing and how they pertain to computer programming. The curriculum also covers lower level languages that communicate between the hardware and software, as well as educates students about how information is stored and transferred between machines. Courses offered in this 4-year program include:
- Software development
- Assembly language
- Database management systems
- Programming languages
Certificate in Linux Administration
Many colleges and universities offer Linux certificate programs which can be completed in as little as one semester. These programs are directed toward IT professionals already working in the field. Before they complete the course, students learn how to install, manage, configure, and administer Linux-based servers.
Popular Career Options
Those who get Linux training have the option to go down many different career paths. Some common job titles might include:
- Software developer
- Web content developer
- Network assistant
- Network administrator.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the BLS, software developers make an average annual salary of $102,160 as of May 2015. The employment for these professionals, from 2014 to 2024, is expected to grow 17%, which is much faster than average.
Continuing Education Information
As with any computer-based career, Linux professionals need to stay current with any updates to their field. Additionally, if Linux professionals desire to advance their careers, they can become systems analysts or computer software engineers who help design, develop, or install computer operating systems such as Linux. These fields require applicants to garner specific certificates, undergraduate or graduate degrees.
Professional organizations sponsor conferences and summits for Linux professionals. These 3-4-day meetings feature keynote speakers, roundtable panels and numerous tutorials. Attendees can network with others in the industry and learn about changes to the Linux platform. Online seminars, which last a few hours, are another option. These webinars teach individuals network configuration and troubleshooting. They are ideal for those new to Linux and its features.
Linux ability can be demonstrated through certification programs such as Red Hat and the Linux Professional Institute (LPI). Many technical and vocational schools, community colleges and other authorized training providers offer training courses designed to help students pass the exams required to attain these certifications.
Offered at the associate's, bachelor's, and certificate levels, Linux programming training teaches students how to work with the Linux operating system and program using coding languages. Students who graduate can find work as a software developer and earn certification, with additional education courses provided to help advance in your career.