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Top 10 Admin Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top administrative certifications for professionals looking to advance their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are important for an admin in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competency and knowledge in specific areas or technologies. Certifications can help admins stand out from other applicants, as they show potential employers that they have taken the initiative to learn and hone their skills. They also indicate a commitment to professional development and a willingness to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in the field. In addition, certifications can open up new career opportunities and provide access to exclusive resources, such as networking events and job boards.

This article reviews the top certifications for Admins and explains how they can help to further an Admin's career.

What are Admin Certifications?

Admin certification is a type of professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in the administration and management of computer systems. It is designed to validate the knowledge and best practices that administrators need to effectively manage, maintain, and troubleshoot computer networks. Admin certification can help by providing those who possess it with an edge in the IT job market, as well as demonstrate their skills to employers. Additionally, having admin certifications can give individuals access to higher-paying positions and advancement opportunities. Finally, admin certification can help individuals stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in IT administration, allowing them to better serve their employers or clients.

Always take the time to research and understand the requirements for any admin certification you are considering. Knowing what is expected of you before taking a certification exam can help you prepare more effectively and increase your chances of success.

Related: What does an Admin do?

Top 10 Admin Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Admins today.

1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Server Infrastructure

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Server Infrastructure is a certification that validates the skills and knowledge needed to build, design, and manage an efficient IT infrastructure. This certification is designed for experienced IT professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in managing and deploying solutions based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012.

It typically takes around six months to prepare for the MCSE: Server Infrastructure exam. It requires individuals to have experience working with Windows Server 2012 and related technologies such as Active Directory, Hyper-V, System Center, and networking. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals have at least one year of hands-on experience in server administration before attempting the exam.

To get the MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification, you must pass two exams: Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012; and Exam 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012. Both exams are available through Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers worldwide.

The cost of the MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification varies depending on your location. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $150 USD per attempt.

2. CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Network+ is a certification program designed to validate the knowledge and skills of IT professionals in network technologies, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, security, and management. It is an internationally recognized certification that validates an individual’s ability to configure, manage, and troubleshoot networks.

It typically takes about 60-80 hours of study time to prepare for the CompTIA Network+ exam. The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 90 minutes. To pass the exam, you must score at least 720 out of 900 points.

To get CompTIA Network+, you must first purchase a voucher from CompTIA or its authorized resellers. The cost of the voucher varies depending on your location but usually ranges from $200-$300 USD. After purchasing the voucher, you can then register for the exam at Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

The cost of taking the CompTIA Network+ exam is included in the price of the voucher.

3. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification program from Cisco Systems that validates an individual's knowledge and skills in networking. It is the first level of Cisco's professional-level certifications and is designed to help individuals develop a strong foundation in networking concepts.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for the CCNA exam, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying. To get the CCNA certification, you must pass two exams: ICND1 and ICND2. The cost of the exams varies by country but generally ranges from $150-$300 USD per exam.

In addition to passing the exams, candidates must also meet certain prerequisites such as having at least one year of experience working with Cisco products or technologies and completing specific training courses offered by Cisco.

4. Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP) is a certification program designed by Oracle to recognize the skills and knowledge of professionals in the field of database administration. The OCP certification validates an individual’s ability to install, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Oracle databases.

The OCP certification requires at least two years of experience working with Oracle databases. Candidates must also pass a series of exams that cover topics such as installation, configuration, backup and recovery, performance tuning, security management, and more.

To get the OCP certification, candidates must first register for the program online or through their local Oracle office. After registration is complete, candidates must then take a series of exams that cover various topics related to Oracle databases. Once all required exams have been passed successfully, candidates will be awarded the OCP certification from Oracle.

The cost of the OCP certification varies depending on the country in which you are taking the exam. In the United States it typically costs around $1,000 - $2,000 for all required exams and associated fees.

5. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification program offered by Red Hat, Inc. that validates the skills and knowledge of system administrators who manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based systems. It is designed to provide system administrators with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully install, configure, and manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.

The RHCSA exam typically takes two hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions. The exam covers topics such as installation and configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, managing users and groups, configuring network services, monitoring system performance, setting up virtualization environments, managing storage devices, and troubleshooting common issues.

To become certified as an RHCSA, you must pass the RHCSA Exam (EX200). This exam can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through a proctored environment. The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $300-$400 USD.

In addition to passing the exam, you must also have a valid Red Hat account in order to receive your certification. You can create a free account on the Red Hat website if you do not already have one.

6. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) is a certification program designed to validate the skills of IT professionals in administering and managing Microsoft Windows-based systems. The MCSA certification is applicable to those who are responsible for the day-to-day management of Windows networks and servers, including installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

The MCSA certification typically takes about 6 months to complete. To get certified, you must pass two exams: one on networking fundamentals and the other on your chosen server technology. You can choose from Windows Server 2016, 2012 R2 or 2008 R2. Once you have passed both exams, you will be awarded the MCSA certification.

The cost of obtaining an MCSA certification varies depending on which exam you take and where you take it. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $150 USD. In addition to the exam fees, some training courses may also require additional fees for materials or registration.

7. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification designed for IT professionals who have experience with VMware products. It demonstrates that the individual has the knowledge and skills to install, configure, manage, and troubleshoot VMware vSphere environments. The VCP certification is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years to maintain its validity.

To get the VCP certification, individuals must first pass a qualifying exam, such as the VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) or the VMware Certified Professional 7 – Cloud Management and Automation (VCP7-CMA). After passing the exam, individuals must then complete a required course of study from an authorized training provider. Once the course is completed, individuals can then take the corresponding VCP exam.

The cost of obtaining a VCP certification varies depending on which version of the certification you are pursuing. Generally speaking, it can range from $200-$3,000 USD depending on which courses and exams you choose to pursue.

8. Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA)

Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) is a certification program offered by Citrix Systems, Inc. to validate the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Citrix products. It is designed to verify that individuals have the technical expertise to effectively configure and maintain a Citrix environment.

The CCA certification requires candidates to pass a single exam which covers topics such as installation, configuration, management, optimization, troubleshooting and security of Citrix products. The exam consists of 50 questions and must be completed within 90 minutes. Candidates must score at least 70% in order to pass the exam.

In order to obtain the CCA certification, candidates must first register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $200 - $300 USD. Once registered for the exam, candidates should prepare by studying course materials provided by Citrix or attending instructor-led training courses offered by authorized training centers around the world.

It typically takes 4-6 weeks of preparation time before taking the exam; however this may vary depending on an individual's experience level with Citrix products. After passing the exam and meeting all other requirements set forth by Citrix Systems Inc., candidates will receive their CCA certification which is valid for three years from date of issue.

9. Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 1 (LPIC-1)

Linux Professional Institute Certification Level 1 (LPIC-1) is a vendor-neutral certification for Linux system administrators. It is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of IT professionals in the area of Linux system administration. LPIC-1 covers topics such as installation, configuration, security, networking, maintenance, and troubleshooting of Linux systems.

It typically takes around 60 hours of study to prepare for the LPIC-1 exam. This includes studying course materials and taking practice exams. The LPIC-1 exam consists of two parts: Part 1 focuses on System Architecture and Command Line Interface (CLI), while Part 2 focuses on Networking Services and Security.

To get LPIC-1 certified, you must pass both parts of the exam with a score of 70% or higher. You can take the exams at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through ProctorU. The cost for each part of the exam varies by region but is generally around $200 USD per part.

In addition to passing the exams, you will also need to submit proof that you have at least one year of practical experience working with Linux systems before you can be certified as an LPIC-1 professional.

10. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 is a certification program from Microsoft that validates the skills of IT professionals who have expertise in managing and deploying Windows Server 2012. It is designed to prove that an individual has the knowledge and experience needed to manage, configure, deploy, maintain, troubleshoot, and administer Windows Server 2012.

How long does it take to get it?

It typically takes between 6-12 months of study and practice to prepare for the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 exams. The exact time frame will depend on your level of knowledge and experience with Windows Server 2012 as well as how much time you are able to dedicate to studying.

How do I get it?

To earn the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification, you must pass three exams: 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012, 70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012, and 70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services. You can take these exams at any Prometric or VUE testing center around the world.

How much does it cost?

The cost of each exam varies by country but typically ranges from $100-$150 USD per exam. Therefore, the total cost for all three exams is usually between $300-$450 USD.

Do You Really Need a Admin Certificate?

An administrative certificate is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual's knowledge, skills, and abilities in the area of business administration. It is awarded by accredited institutions upon successful completion of a program or course of study. Depending on the program and institution, it may be offered as either a diploma or a certificate.

Whether or not you need an administrative certificate depends largely on your career goals and current qualifications. If you are already working in the field of business administration, an administrative certificate can help to expand your knowledge base and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and development. It can also give you an edge over other applicants when applying for promotions or higher-level positions. In addition, having an administrative certificate may make you more attractive to potential employers who are looking for candidates with specialized skills and expertise.

On the other hand, if you are new to the field of business administration, taking a program or course in this area can provide you with valuable knowledge about different aspects of the profession. This could include topics such as financial management, organizational behaviour, human resources management, marketing strategies, operations management, project management and more. Having this foundational knowledge could be beneficial when applying for entry-level positions in business administration or related fields.

In conclusion, whether or not you need an administrative certificate will depend on your current qualifications and career goals. For those already working in the field of business administration, it can be a great way to expand their knowledge base and credentials; whereas for those just starting out in this profession, taking a program or course can provide them with basic knowledge about different aspects of the profession that could be beneficial when seeking employment opportunities.

Related: Admin Resume Examples

FAQs About Admin Certifications

Q1: What is an Admin Certification?

A1: An Admin Certification is a type of professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in a particular area of administration. It typically involves taking an exam or course to demonstrate proficiency in specific areas such as systems, databases, office management, and more.

Q2: How do I get an Admin Certification?

A2: To obtain an Admin Certification, you must typically pass a certification exam or complete a certification course. Depending on the type of certification, you may need to have prior experience in the field, complete specific training courses, or pass additional exams.

Q3: Which organizations offer Admin Certifications?

A3: Many different organizations offer Admin Certifications. Examples include Microsoft, CompTIA, Oracle, and Salesforce.

Q4: What are the benefits of having an Admin Certification?

A4: Having an Admin Certification can help demonstrate your expertise in certain areas of administration, which can open up career opportunities and increase earning potential. Additionally, some employers may require their employees to have certifications in certain areas.

Q5: How long does it take to get an Admin Certification?

A5: The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on the type of certification you are pursuing. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required for most certifications.