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Top 10 Systems Manager Certifications

This article outlines the most valuable certifications for systems managers, including their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are an important tool for a systems manager to showcase their expertise in the job market. Certifications demonstrate that the individual has a specific knowledge base and skill set related to managing systems, as well as the ability to apply it effectively. This can give employers confidence that they are hiring someone with the necessary qualifications and skills, rather than taking a chance on someone who may not have the same level of expertise. Additionally, certifications can help a systems manager stand out from other applicants when competing for jobs, giving them an edge over those without certifications.

This article reviews some of the most beneficial certifications for Systems Managers and explores how they can enhance a Systems Manager's career prospects.

What are Systems Manager Certifications?

Systems Manager Certification is a professional certification that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the area of systems management. This certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to effectively manage and maintain computer systems, networks, and applications. It covers topics such as system architecture, design, setup, configuration, security, maintenance and troubleshooting.

The Systems Manager Certification can help individuals demonstrate their expertise in the field of systems management. It can also provide employers with assurance that a candidate is qualified for the job of systems manager. Having this certification on your resume can give you an edge over other applicants during the hiring process. Additionally, having this certification may open up opportunities for advancement within the IT field since it shows employers that you have the necessary technical skills to take on more responsibility. Furthermore, this certification can help employers save money by having a certified employee who will be able to identify and resolve issues quickly and efficiently rather than outsourcing these tasks to costly third-party vendors or consultants.

Pro Tip: Before attempting a Systems Manager Certification exam, make sure to review the relevant material thoroughly and practice with sample questions. This can help you identify any areas of weakness to focus on, as well as familiarize you with the format of the exam.

Related: What does a Systems Manager do?

Top 10 Systems Manager Certifications

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

1. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) is a certification that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in administering Windows Server operating systems. It is designed to prove technical proficiency in areas such as installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting of Windows Server-based networks.

The MCSA certification requires passing two exams: one on Windows Server 2016 and another on either Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008. Depending on the version of the exam you take, it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete the requirements for the MCSA certification.

In order to get an MCSA certification, you must first register for the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program at Microsoft Learning. You will then need to purchase vouchers for each exam you plan to take and schedule your exams with Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost for each exam varies depending on which version of Windows Server you are taking but typically ranges from $120-$150 per exam.

2. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of IT professionals. It is a vendor-neutral certification that covers the fundamentals of computer technology, installation and configuration of PCs, laptops and related hardware, as well as basic networking.

It typically takes about 100 hours to study for the CompTIA A+ exam, although this can vary depending on your level of experience. The exam itself consists of two parts: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). Both exams must be passed in order to receive the certification.

In order to get certified, you must first register for the CompTIA A+ exam with Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers. You will then need to schedule a time to take the exam at one of these centers. Once you have successfully completed both exams, you will receive your certificate in the mail.

The cost of taking the CompTIA A+ exam varies depending on which provider you use; however, it typically ranges from $200 - $300 USD per exam.

3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who design and implement Microsoft-based solutions. It demonstrates expertise in designing and implementing solutions based on the Microsoft platform, including Windows Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, System Center, Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM and other related technologies.

To become an MCSE certified professional, you must pass a series of exams that cover topics such as Windows server administration, networking infrastructure configuration, identity management and virtualization. The exams are offered through Microsoft's official testing centers or online through Pearson VUE.

The time it takes to get an MCSE certification depends on your experience level and the number of exams you need to take. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from three months to one year to complete all the requirements for the certification.

In order to get an MCSE certification you will need to pass a minimum of five exams: four core exams plus one elective exam. The cost of each exam varies depending on which country you are taking them in but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD per exam. Additionally there may be additional costs associated with training materials or study guides if needed.

4. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification offered by Cisco Systems that validates an individual's knowledge and skills in networking. It is the first level of certification that Cisco offers, and it covers topics such as routing, switching, network security, wireless networking, and more.

It typically takes around six months to prepare for the CCNA exam. The best way to prepare for the exam is to take a course or training program from an accredited provider. Additionally, you can use self-study resources such as books or online materials to study for the exam.

The cost of taking the CCNA exam varies depending on which version of the exam you are taking and where you are taking it. In general, the cost of taking the CCNA exam ranges from $200-$400 USD.

Once you have passed the CCNA exam, you will receive a certificate from Cisco that proves your knowledge and skills in networking. This certificate will be valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

5. CompTIA Network+ Certification

CompTIA Network+ is an industry-recognized certification that validates the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who work with networking technologies. It is a vendor-neutral certification that covers a wide range of topics, including network architecture, network operations, network security, troubleshooting, and more.

It usually takes around three to six months to prepare for the CompTIA Network+ exam. Depending on your experience level and study habits, it may take longer or shorter than this.

To get the CompTIA Network+ certification, you must pass the CompTIA Network+ exam (N10-007). This exam consists of 90 multiple choice questions and lasts 90 minutes.

The cost of the CompTIA Network+ exam varies depending on which country you are taking it in. In the US, it typically costs $329 USD.

6. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is an internationally recognized certification that provides a comprehensive understanding of IT Service Management best practices. It is based on the ITIL framework, which is a set of guidelines and processes for managing IT services in order to ensure maximum value and efficiency. The certification is designed to help individuals gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage IT services and operations.

The ITIL Foundation Certification takes approximately 20 hours to complete, depending on prior experience. To get certified, you must first pass the ITIL Foundation exam, which consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. The exam can be taken online or at a testing center approved by PeopleCert, the official accrediting body for the ITIL Foundation Certification.

The cost of the ITIL Foundation Certification varies depending on your location and provider. Generally speaking, it will cost around $200-$300 USD for the exam itself plus any additional costs associated with training materials or courses.

In addition to passing the exam, there are no other prerequisites required to obtain the certification; however, having some prior experience with service management concepts may be beneficial when taking the exam.

7. Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) is a certification program offered by Microsoft that validates the technical skills of IT professionals. It is designed to help professionals demonstrate their expertise in specific Microsoft technologies, such as Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Exchange Server.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the MCTS certification process. The amount of time it takes depends on the individual’s experience level with the technology they are certifying in. To get certified, individuals must pass one or more exams that cover topics related to the technology they are certifying in.

The cost of getting MCTS certified varies depending on which exams you take and how many you take. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $150 USD. There may also be additional costs associated with training materials or other resources used to prepare for the exams.

Overall, getting MCTS certified can be an expensive endeavor but it can also pay off in terms of career advancement opportunities and higher salaries.

8. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to configure, manage and maintain Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. It is one of the most popular certifications for system administrators and IT professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in administering Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.

The RHCSA exam typically takes around two hours and consists of performance-based tasks. To become certified, individuals must pass the RHCSA exam, which covers topics such as installation and configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, basic system administration tasks, managing users and groups, managing files and directories, configuring network services, managing software packages and more.

To get the RHCSA certification, individuals must first register for the exam through the Red Hat website. The cost of the exam varies depending on the country you are taking it in but generally ranges from $400-$600 USD. After registering for the exam, individuals can prepare by studying materials provided by Red Hat or taking an instructor-led training course offered by a Red Hat Training Partner. Once they have completed their preparation they can take the exam at an authorized testing center.

Once an individual has passed the RHCSA exam they will receive their certificate from Red Hat which will be valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

9. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is a certification program offered by Microsoft that validates an individual's skills in designing, implementing, and managing complex IT infrastructures. It is designed for experienced IT professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in deploying and managing Windows-based networks.

To become MCSE certified, one must pass a series of exams that cover topics such as networking, security, client/server applications, server infrastructure, and cloud computing. The exams are administered through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. Depending on the area of focus, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to complete the required exams.

The cost of the MCSE certification depends on which exams one chooses to take. Each exam costs around $150 USD and there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center. Additionally, some employers may provide financial assistance for employees looking to pursue this certification.

10. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification program offered by VMware that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in virtualization technologies. It is designed to demonstrate the individual’s ability to deploy, configure, and manage VMware vSphere environments.

To obtain the VCP certification, individuals must complete a training course from an authorized VMware training provider and pass the associated exam. Depending on the course chosen, it can take anywhere from two days to five days to complete the training.

The cost of obtaining VCP certification varies depending on which training course you choose. Generally speaking, it can range from $2,000 to $4,000 USD for the course and exam fees combined.

Once all requirements are met, individuals will receive their official VCP certification card in the mail within 4-6 weeks after passing the exam.

Do You Really Need a Systems Manager Certificate?

Systems managers are responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of computer systems within an organization. As such, they must possess a thorough understanding of both hardware and software components, as well as the ability to troubleshoot any technical problems that arise. In order to be successful in this role, many employers prefer that their systems manager hold a systems manager certificate.

A systems manager certificate is generally earned through an accredited college or university program. The courses typically include topics such as network security, operating system administration, project management, and database design. These courses are designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage computer networks and ensure their smooth operation. In addition to these subjects, most programs also cover topics like customer service, problem solving techniques, and business communication skills.

Whether or not you need a systems manager certificate depends largely on your specific career goals and experience level. For those who want to work in a managerial position within an organization’s IT department, having a certificate may be beneficial in order to stand out from other applicants. It shows potential employers that you have invested the time and effort into learning more about the field and have gained valuable knowledge that can help you excel in your role as a systems manager.

On the other hand, if you already have experience working with computers or networks, then obtaining a certificate may not be necessary for advancing your career. However, having one could still be beneficial by increasing your understanding of certain topics related to system management or giving you insight into new technologies that could improve the efficiency of your team’s operations. Ultimately it comes down to what kind of job you’re looking for and whether or not having a certificate would give you an advantage over other applicants.

Related: Systems Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Systems Manager Certifications

1. What certifications are available through Systems Manager?

Answer: There are two certifications available through Systems Manager – the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate and the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional.

2. How do I become certified in Systems Manager?

Answer: To become certified in Systems Manager, you must pass the associated exam for each certification. You can find more information on exam requirements and preparation materials on the AWS Certification website.

3. What topics are covered in the Systems Manager exams?

Answer: The exams cover topics such as architecture, security, automation, monitoring, troubleshooting, deployment strategies, cost optimization and more.

4. How long does it take to get certified in Systems Manager?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on your level of preparation and familiarity with the subject matter. It is recommended that you allow at least a few weeks to prepare for the exam and practice with sample questions before taking it.

5. Are there any prerequisites for taking a Systems Manager certification exam?

Answer: Yes, you must have an active AWS account in order to take an AWS Certification Exam. Additionally, depending on which certification you are pursuing, there may be other prerequisites such as experience with specific services or products that should be met prior to taking the exam.