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Top 10 Courses for System Administrators

July 27, 2020
Ryan Day

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 get a better understanding of the type of IT training that sysadmins require, we compiled a list of the 10 most-attended Global Knowledge courses by sysadmins.


1. Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell (M10961)

Since sysadmins have many repetitive tasks, it is useful to have tools to assist with scripting and automation. Windows PowerShell is this tool and facilitates automation of many aspects of administration of 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 IT professionals who need to automate administrative tasks from the command line using any Microsoft or independent software vendor (ISV) product that supports Windows PowerShell manageability.


2. 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 can be a natural follow-on to Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell. It covers distribution, deployment and monitoring of applications for managed users and systems across an organization. It is a good fit for sysadmins who are expected to efficiently manage and monitor devices and resources.

This training also covers data analysis using queries and reports, managing the Configuration Manager client, maintaining software updates, and managing operating system deployments.

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


3. VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.7]

Geared toward sysadmins and system 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 6.7.

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 2020 certification.


4. 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 professionals 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.

This training covers the following skills, which may be of interest to sysadmins: installing and upgrading servers, configuring local storage, disaster recovery, implementing network load balancing and more. Basic knowledge of server hardware, as well as networking and security fundamentals, are prerequisites.


5. Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-104T00)

Sysadmins who work in Microsoft Azure or want to take their sysadmin skills into the Microsoft cloud, are the best audience for this course. Sysadmins who want to get Microsoft Azure certified as administrators are flocking to 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 ranks 12th in the United States in terms of highest-paying certifications.

Microsoft Azure administrators require a deep understanding of each service across the full IT lifecycle, and will take requests for infrastructure services, applications and environments. They will need to be equipped to make recommendations on services used for optimal performance and scale, as well as provision, size, monitor and adjust resources as appropriate.


6. Architecting on AWS

This is another course that aligns with an in-demand and top-paying certification. Architecting on AWS covers the essential skills needed to architect IT solutions on AWS.

It is recommended training for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification. IT professionals in the U.S. with this certification earn an average salary of $149,446 a year.

This hands-on training includes the entire process of designing IT infrastructure from beginning to end.


7. System Operations on AWS

This course is ideal for sysadmins who require in-depth networking skills and techniques needed for AWS. It covers networking, computing, storage and archiving in the cloud.

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 delivers all of these skills and more.


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

Many 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 IT professionals support, install and configure Microsoft Exchange Server. It also covers how to implement disaster recovery solutions, which is a critical skill set for a sysadmin.

Other topics covered in this training include storage planning and configuration, managing recipients, implementing client connectivity and troubleshooting Exchange Servers.


9. ITIL® 4 Foundation

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

Learn about ITIL’s key concepts, common language, principles and practices that enable successful management of modern IT-enabled services. This course also prepares students for the ITIL® Foundation certification exam, which is administered on the last day of class.


10. 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 Skype for Business. It also covers many security and compliance features of Office 365.
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.


Access these courses with GK Polaris Discovery

Our new unlimited 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 just $2,999. Explore GK Polaris >