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Top 10 Courses for System Administrators

July 27, 2021
Alec Olson

System Administrators, or SysAdmins, are the “installation specialists,” “configuration specialists” and “fixers” in IT. If you’ve ever seen Pulp Fiction, SysAdmins are like Winston Wolfe — their job is to solve problems.

SysAdmins must have broad IT skill sets. Not only do they need the ability to troubleshoot and fix problems, they also require the skills to install and configure the operating system, configure virtual machines, configure users and security, and configure networks. They are often called upon to recover lost files, update software, reset passwords and save networks from crashing. They also need to be versed in disaster recovery and high availability. They should be connoisseurs of servers, storage, cybersecurity, automation and more.

To give you a better understanding of the type of IT training SysAdmins are taking, we compiled a list of the 10 most-attended Global Knowledge courses by, you guessed it, SysAdmins.


1. Administering System Center Configuration Manager (M20703-1)

System Center Configuration Manager is a Microsoft product developed for managing large groups of computers including various operating systems. Configuration Manager includes operating system deployment, patch management, remote control, software distribution, and network access protection. In addition, it includes capabilities for hardware and software inventory.

This course pairs well with Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell (see below). It covers distribution, deployment and monitoring of applications for managed users and systems across an organization. It is a good fit for systems administrators who are expected to efficiently manage and monitor devices and resources.

An understanding of PowerShell, networking fundamentals and Windows Server basics are recommended prerequisites.

This course covers:

  • Data analysis using queries and reports
  • Managing the Configuration Manager client
  • Maintaining software updates
  • Managing operating system deployments

View Course.


2. Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell (M10961)

Since SysAdmins can have numerous repetitive tasks, it’s useful to have tools to assist with scripting and automation. In essence, Windows PowerShell automates administrative tasks related to the network and servers.

This course focuses on PowerShell command line features and techniques. Learn to execute and monitor scripts more efficiently with more robust session connectivity, workflow capabilities, improved job scheduling and Windows PowerShell Web Access.

This type of training is valuable for systems administrators who need to automate administrative tasks from the command line using any Microsoft or independent software vendor (ISV) product that supports Windows PowerShell manageability.

This course covers:

  • PowerShell command line features
  • Windows PowerShell Web Access
  • How to execute and monitor scripts
  • Administrative task automation

View Course


3. VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V7]

Geared toward systems administrators and engineers, this VMware course teaches how to administer a vSphere infrastructure for an organization of any size. The training is hands-on and focuses on installing, configuring and managing VMware vSphere 7, which also features VMware ESXi™ 7 and VMware vCenter Server® 7.

SysAdmins who use VMware technologies in their software-defined data center, or whose organization is looking for a multi-cloud solution, will benefit from this training. VMware allows for the management of apps on multiple clouds from a single platform. Streamlining this process allows for greater agility and efficiency, while also optimizing costs.

This course is also recommended for those seeking the VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization 2021 (VCP-DCV 2021) certification. SysAdmins must have experience with Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems before taking this course.

This course covers:

  • Use vSphere standard switches to create virtual networks
  • ESXi host installation and configuration
  • How to configure vCenter® Server Appliance™
  • How to conduct vCenter Server Appliance maintenance
  • Manage vCenter Server inventory and configuration with VMware vSphere® Client™

View Course


4. Microsoft Office 365 Administration and Troubleshooting (M10997)

SysAdmins use this course to learn specific techniques to support Microsoft Office 365, as well as key services of Office 365, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and others. It covers important security and compliance features of Office 365 too.

After completing this training, you’ll have the ability to administer Office 365 by using a graphical user interface (GUI) and Windows PowerShell, and administer and troubleshoot directory synchronization and directory objects.

This course covers:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Windows PowerShell
  • Security and compliance

View Course


5. Installation, Storage, Compute with Windows Server 2016 (M20740)

If working with Windows Server 2016, SysAdmins may be responsible for managing storage and compute. This course is designed for those systems administrators who have some Windows Server experience but want to learn how to maximize its features, such as containers, Resilient File System (ReFS) and Storage Spaces.

Basic knowledge of server hardware, as well as networking and security fundamentals, are prerequisites.

This course covers:

  • Installing and upgrading servers
  • Configuring local storage
  • Disaster recovery
  • Implementing network load balancing

View Course


6. ITIL® 4 Foundation

ITIL® Foundation is not geared specifically toward SysAdmins, though it’s one of the most-pursued certifications by professionals across all IT disciplines. This course is for anyone who is looking to strengthen alignment of IT with the business and reduce IT costs.

This course prepares students for the ITIL® Foundation certification exam, which is administered on the last day of class.

This course covers:

  • Key concepts
  • Common language
  • ITIL principles
  • ITIL practices

View Course


7. System Operations on AWS

This course is ideal for SysAdmins who require in-depth networking skills and techniques needed for AWS.

System Operations on AWS also aligns with the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification.

Need to deploy or troubleshoot Amazon EC2 instances? Are you building virtual private networks with Amazon VPC from the ground up? Do you manage resource consumption in an AWS account? This course teaches you how to do them and more.

This course covers:

  • Networking
  • Computing
  • Storage
  • Archival

View Course


8. Administering Microsoft Exchange Server 2016/2019 (M20345-1)

It’s not uncommon for system administrators to manage system administrators manage additional servers and components in addition to the operating system. One such service is the Microsoft email service Microsoft Exchange.

This course helps systems administrators support, install and configure Microsoft Exchange Server. It also covers how to implement disaster recovery solutions, which is a critical skill for a SysAdmin.

This course covers:

  • Storage planning and configuration
  • Managing recipients
  • Implementing client connectivity
  • Troubleshooting Exchange Servers

View Course


9. Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-104T00)

SysAdmins who work in Microsoft Azure or want to build their cloud skills are the best candidates for this course. It teaches administrators how to manage Microsoft Azure subscriptions, secure identities, administer the infrastructure, configure virtual networking and more.

This course is also recommended prep for the popular Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification, which is the 12th highest-paying certification in the U.S.

Microsoft Azure administrators require a deep understanding of each service across the full IT lifecycle. They will take requests for infrastructure services, applications and environments. SysAdmins must be able to make recommendations to improve performance, scale, provision, size, monitor, and sesource allocation

This course covers:

  • Microsoft Azure subscriptions
  • How to Secure identities
  • Administer the infrastructure
  • Configure virtual networking

View Course


10. Architecting on AWS

SysAdmins across specialties take this course to improve their knowledge and skill working in the AWS platform — and it comes with added benefits. This course aligns with the third top-paying certification in the U.S.

It is recommended training for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification, which commands an average salary of $159,033.

Architecting on AWS covers the essential skills needed to architect IT solutions on AWS. This hands-on training includes the entire process of designing IT infrastructure from beginning to end.

This course covers:

  • AWS best practices
  • How to build scalable IT infrastructure
  • Ways to improve flexibility and resiliency
  • How to increase performance and reduce costs

View Course


5 that Just Missed the Cut

  1. Managing Modern Desktops (MD-101T00)
  2. AWS Technical Essentials
  3. Windows PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking
  4. Managing Windows Environments with Group Policy (M50255)
  5. CompTIA Security+ Certification Prep Course


Access these courses with GK Polaris Discovery

Our unlimited instructor-led training subscription, GK Polaris Discovery, includes nine of the 10 courses on this list. If you’re a system administrator, lock in all of the training you’ll need for $2,999. Explore GK Polaris >