Unix School and University Program Overviews

A certificate program in UNIX systems administration provides the necessary background for aspiring UNIX systems administrators. These certificate programs offer both basic and advanced courses that cover UNIX-based hardware and software.

Essential Information

UNIX is a complex operating system widely used in corporate environments to host web applications, e-mail services, and databases. Prerequisites vary between programs, many have no requirements and others require applicants to submit high school transcripts or GED information along with their completed applications. Students must be computer proficient and may have to meet prerequisites for individual classes. Previous college experience and basic knowledge of UNIX are useful.


UNIX School and University Programs

Students learn to keep systems secure and safety measures updated as well as installation, operation and maintenance of UNIX systems. In addition to UNIX, students may also learn programming languages, like C++ and SQL. Some programs may cover Linux as well. Most UNIX certificate programs are comprised of three or four required classes plus electives. Typical core classes include the following:

  • UNIX operating system basics
  • UNIX network and system administration
  • UNIX system programming
  • UNIX shell scripts
  • C programming

Career Outlook and Salary Info

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employment of computer network and systems administrators, such as UNIX systems administrators, should increase about 8% from 2014 to 2024. Job seekers with related college degrees and experience will have the advantage. According to the BLS, the median yearly salary for computer network and systems administrators was $77,810 in May 2015.

Certification and Continuing Education

Professional certification exams are available for UNIX distributions such as Solaris or AIX. Many UNIX certificate programs will transfer into associate's or bachelor's degree programs in network administration, information technology, or related fields. Some associate's degree programs offer specializations in UNIX systems administration; students with this specialization usually earn the UNIX certification in addition to the associate's degree. Undergraduate degree programs in information systems usually offer similar classes to those taught in certificate programs.

UNIX education is most often found in the form of certificate programs, preparing students for a number of programming and computer-related careers in several fields. More often than not, most certificates will be transferrable into a traditional undergraduate degree program, and professional certification is available to improve employment prospects.


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