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Top 11 System Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top system engineer certifications available, with details on the requirements, benefits, and exam information.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for system engineers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for when hiring. Certifications can provide an edge in the competitive job market, help to increase salary potential, and give employers confidence in the engineer’s abilities. They also serve as a way to stay up-to-date with new technologies and developments within the field. Additionally, certifications can help engineers gain access to exclusive job opportunities that may not be available to non-certified professionals.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for System Engineers and explains how they can help further a System Engineer's career.

What are System Engineer Certifications?

System engineer certification is a designation that is awarded to professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the design, implementation, and maintenance of computer systems. This certification can be obtained through formal education programs or professional organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). System engineers are responsible for ensuring that all components of a system work together properly, including hardware, software, operating systems, networks, and databases.

Having a system engineer certification can help professionals stand out from the competition when applying for jobs. Certification provides employers with an assurance that the individual has the necessary skills to perform their job duties efficiently and effectively. It also demonstrates that the individual has a commitment to staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Additionally, many companies offer incentives for employees with certifications since they view it as an investment in their staff’s education and future success. Finally, having a system engineering certification can open up more job opportunities since some positions may require this type of credential.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of any free system engineer certification courses available to you. Doing so can help to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the field, as well as give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

Related: What does a System Engineer do?

Top 11 System Engineer Certifications

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

1. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is a certification offered by Microsoft that demonstrates an individual's technical skills and knowledge in designing, implementing, and managing IT solutions based on the Microsoft Windows platform.

The MCSE certification requires individuals to pass seven exams, with each exam focusing on different aspects of the Windows platform. The exams cover topics such as networking, operating systems, security, server infrastructure, virtualization, cloud computing, and business intelligence.

It typically takes about six months to complete all seven exams needed for the MCSE certification. However, this timeline can vary depending on how much time an individual has available to study and prepare for the exams. It is also possible to obtain the MCSE certification in less than six months if an individual has prior experience working with Microsoft technologies or is already familiar with some of the topics covered in the exams.

In order to obtain the MCSE certification, individuals must first register for and successfully pass all seven required exams. The cost of each exam varies depending on where it is taken; however, most of them range from $100-$200 per exam. As such, obtaining the MCSE certification can cost anywhere between $700-$1400 in total.

2. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is a professional-level certification offered by Cisco Systems. It is designed to validate an individual’s skills and knowledge in advanced routing, switching, and troubleshooting of networks. The CCNP certification proves that the holder has the expertise to work with enterprise-level networks on a large scale.

It typically takes about one year to complete the CCNP certification program. To get certified, you must first pass three exams: ROUTE (300-101), SWITCH (300-115), and TSHOOT (300-135). You can purchase each exam individually or as part of a bundle package from Cisco.

The cost of the CCNP certification depends on how many exams you need to take and which bundle package you choose. Generally speaking, the total cost for all three exams ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD depending on your location.

3. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of entry-level IT professionals. It is a globally recognized, vendor-neutral certification that covers the fundamentals of computer technology, networking, and security. The certification is designed to demonstrate competency in areas such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking.

The CompTIA A+ certification consists of two exams: 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2). Each exam takes 90 minutes to complete and covers topics such as hardware, software, troubleshooting, security, operational procedures and customer service. To obtain the CompTIA A+ certification you must pass both exams with a score of at least 675 out of 900.

It typically takes about 3 months to prepare for the CompTIA A+ exams depending on your prior experience in IT. You can choose to study independently or take a training course from an accredited institution. There are also many online resources available to help you prepare for the exams including practice tests and study guides.

The cost of the CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you take the exams. In most cases it will cost around $300 USD for both exams plus any additional fees associated with taking them at a testing center or online proctoring service.

4. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) is a certification program from Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. The RHCE certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s ability to configure, deploy, and manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems in an enterprise environment. It is one of the most highly sought-after certifications for Linux professionals.

The RHCE exam consists of two parts: a hands-on practical exam and a theoretical knowledge exam. The practical exam requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to configure and manage various aspects of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems in a simulated environment. The theoretical knowledge exam tests the candidate's understanding of the concepts behind the practical tasks they have completed.

The time it takes to get RHCE certified depends on the individual's experience level, but typically it takes at least several months of preparation before taking either part of the exam. During this time, candidates should become familiar with Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administration topics such as user management, package management, security, networking, storage configuration, and system performance tuning. Candidates should also gain hands-on experience with Red Hat Enterprise Linux by setting up virtual machines or using online labs provided by Red Hat or other training providers.

To get RHCE certified, candidates must first pass both parts of the exam within three years of each other and obtain a passing score on each part. After passing both parts of the exam, candidates will be awarded their RHCE certification which is valid for three years from the date they passed their last part.

The cost for taking either part of the RHCE exam varies depending on where you take it; however, generally speaking it costs around $400 USD per part plus any additional fees associated with taking exams at a testing center or through an online proctoring service.

5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is an entry-level certification designed to validate the knowledge and skills of individuals in designing, deploying, and managing applications and infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This certification is intended for those who have a basic understanding of AWS services and are looking to demonstrate their proficiency in designing secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.

The exam typically takes about 80 minutes to complete. It consists of multiple choice and multiple answer questions that test your knowledge of the various AWS services. The exam covers topics such as storage, networking, security, compute, databases, analytics, application integration, deployment, monitoring, automation, DevOps tools, APIs and SDKs.

To get this certification you must first register for the exam through the AWS Certification portal. You will then need to study for the exam using resources such as books or online courses. Once you feel confident enough to take the exam you can book a time slot through Pearson VUE or Prometric.

The cost of taking the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam varies depending on where you are located but typically costs around $150 USD per attempt.

6. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification program designed to validate the technical skills and knowledge of IT professionals who work with VMware technologies. It is one of the most sought after certifications in the IT industry and is recognized worldwide.

The VCP certification requires individuals to pass an exam that tests their knowledge of VMware products, services, and solutions. The exam covers topics such as installation, configuration, administration, troubleshooting, and optimization of VMware products. In addition to passing the exam, candidates must also attend an authorized training course from a VMware-authorized training provider.

The VCP certification takes approximately three months to complete depending on the individual’s level of experience and background in virtualization technologies. The cost for the exam varies depending on the country but typically ranges from $250-$300 USD. Additionally, there are fees associated with attending an authorized training course which can range from $2,000-$3,000 USD depending on the provider.

Once certified as a VCP, individuals have access to exclusive resources such as online communities, discounts on products and services, access to events and conferences, and more. Additionally, certified professionals are able to demonstrate their expertise in virtualization technologies which can lead to career advancement opportunities within their organization or new job opportunities outside of it.

7. Citrix Certified Professional (CCP)

Citrix Certified Professional (CCP) is a certification program designed to validate and recognize the skills of IT professionals who have demonstrated expertise in deploying, managing, and troubleshooting Citrix virtualization solutions. It is an industry-recognized credential that validates a professional’s proficiency in the installation, configuration, and administration of Citrix products.

To become a CCP, you must first pass two exams: Citrix Certified Associate (CCA) and Citrix Certified Professional (CCP). The CCA exam covers basic concepts such as installation, configuration, and management of XenApp/XenDesktop environments. The CCP exam builds on the CCA exam by focusing on advanced topics such as performance optimization and troubleshooting.

The time it takes to get your certification depends on how much experience you have with Citrix products. For those with no prior experience, it can take anywhere from 2-4 months to study for both exams. Those with some experience may be able to complete the process in less time.

In order to obtain your CCP certification, you must register for both exams through the Citrix website. Each exam costs $200 USD and must be taken at a Pearson VUE testing center. Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your official certification via email within 4-6 weeks.

The total cost of obtaining your CCP certification will depend on how long it takes you to prepare for the exams and whether or not you need additional resources such as books or practice tests. However, most people can expect to spend around $400-$500 USD on their certification journey.

8. Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP) is a certification program designed to recognize the skills and expertise of Oracle database administrators. It is offered by Oracle Corporation, one of the world’s leading software companies. The OCP certification provides an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates an individual’s ability to install, configure, manage, and maintain Oracle databases.

To become an Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP), you must pass two exams: the 1Z0-071: Oracle Database 12c SQL Fundamentals exam and the 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration exam. Both exams are available online through Pearson VUE or in person at a Pearson VUE testing center.

The time it takes to get certified depends on your experience level with Oracle databases, as well as how much time you can dedicate to studying for the exams. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to prepare for and pass both exams.

The cost of becoming an OCP varies depending on which country you are located in and which version of the exam you choose (online or in person). Generally speaking, the cost for both exams ranges from $300-$600 USD.

In addition to passing both exams, you must also have at least six months of experience working with Oracle databases in order to qualify for OCP certification. To maintain your certification status, you must recertify every three years by passing either one or two new exams or completing certain training courses related to Oracle database administration.

9. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally recognized certification program that provides IT professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage IT services. It is based on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is a set of best practices for IT service management.

The certification process typically takes between four and six weeks to complete, depending on the individual’s level of experience and commitment to studying. To become certified, individuals must pass an exam administered by an accredited provider. The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 60 minutes.

To get started, individuals should first familiarize themselves with the ITIL framework and its various components. They can do this by reading books or taking online courses related to the topic. After gaining an understanding of the basics, they can then begin studying for the exam using study guides, practice tests, and other resources available from accredited providers.

The cost of obtaining an ITIL Foundation Certification varies depending on where it is taken and who administers it. Generally speaking, however, most exams cost between $200 and $400 USD.

10. Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC-1)

The Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC-1) is an industry-recognized certification that validates a candidate’s knowledge and skills in the Linux operating system. It is designed to demonstrate competency in basic system administration of Linux systems, including installation and configuration of the operating system, managing user accounts and file systems, and configuring network services.

LPIC-1 certification requires passing two exams: Exam 101 and Exam 102. The exams are administered by Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. Each exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

In order to be eligible for LPIC-1 certification, you must have at least six months of experience working with the Linux operating system. You should also be familiar with basic command line tools such as grep, awk, sed, tar, gzip, etc., as well as basic scripting languages such as Bash or Python.

The cost of LPIC-1 certification varies depending on where you take the exam(s). Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD per exam ($400 USD total).

11. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is a certification program that provides a foundation of technology knowledge for students and entry-level IT professionals. It covers core technical concepts in the areas of Windows Server Administration, Networking Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals, Database Fundamentals, Software Development Fundamentals and Web Development Fundamentals.

The MTA certification is designed to take approximately 40 hours to complete. To get the MTA certification, you must pass one or more exams which are available through Pearson VUE testing centers. Each exam costs $127 USD and can be taken at any time. You can also purchase practice tests to help prepare for the exams.

Once you have passed all the required exams, you will receive an official Microsoft Technology Associate certificate. This certificate is valid for two years and can be renewed by taking additional exams or completing other Microsoft certifications such as MCSA or MCSE.

Do You Really Need a System Engineer Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your specific career goals. If you are looking to pursue a career as a system engineer, then having a system engineer certificate could be beneficial. The certificate can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to work as a system engineer. It also shows employers that you have taken the time to further your education in this field and have gone through an accredited program.

Having a system engineer certificate can help set you apart from other job applicants when it comes time for an interview or promotion. Employers will know that you have put in the extra effort to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for the job. In addition, some companies may require certification prior to hiring, so having one may increase your chances of being hired.

On the other hand, if you are already employed in this field or working towards it, then additional certifications may not be necessary. You can still continue learning about new technologies and trends without obtaining a certificate, as long as you stay up-to-date with industry changes and advancements.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a system engineer certificate depends on your individual career goals. If certification is required by an employer or would give you an advantage over other applicants, then it could be beneficial to obtain one. However, if certification is not required or necessary for your current position, then there is no need to pursue one at this time.

Related: System Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About System Engineer Certifications

Q1. What is a System Engineer Certification?

A1. A system engineer certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a professional’s expertise in systems engineering and related technologies. It typically covers topics such as project management, system design, testing, implementation, and more.

Q2. How do I become certified as a System Engineer?

A2. To become certified as a System Engineer, you need to pass the relevant exams offered by the certifying body (such as Microsoft or CompTIA). These exams test your knowledge of the fundamentals of systems engineering and related technologies.

Q3. How long does it take to get a System Engineer Certification?

A3. The length of time it takes to get a system engineer certification depends on the certifying body and specific exam requirements. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months up to two years to complete the necessary coursework and exams for certification.

Q4. What are the benefits of having a System Engineer Certification?

A4. Having a system engineer certification can help you stand out from other job applicants in the field, demonstrate your commitment to staying current with technology trends, give you access to higher paying jobs, and provide you with recognition from employers that value this type of credential.

Q5 Are there any prerequisites for taking the exam for System Engineer Certification?

A5 Yes – depending on which certifying body you choose, there may be certain prerequisites required before taking the exam (such as completing certain courses or having prior experience). Be sure to check the requirements for each exam before registering so that you can ensure that you meet all of them prior to taking it.