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Well it's my senior year of highschool and i'm trying to figure out how to prepare for a career as a linux IT/Admin. As ive learned preparing for a linux ...
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  1. #1
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    How would i go about becoming an IT or Admin for a linux system?


    Well it's my senior year of highschool and i'm trying to figure out how to prepare for a career as a linux IT/Admin. As ive learned preparing for a linux career is very different from a windows one because there is seemingly no trade schools that offer linux specific options. So how exactly would i go about doing this? Is there a trade school i don't know about, should i go to college to get a degree, is it all just getting certifications, or do i have to teach myself? Hopefully there's someone on here who can help me out but right now i'm lost as to what to do after i graduate. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    This is more appropriate for the Coffee Lounge - moved.

  3. #3
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    Hi Daniel. I would recommend starting by pursuing an A.S. in Computer Science at community college, and then try to get an internship or part time job at a local IT company. Any IT job is fine, doesn't have to be just Linux, though if you can find a Linux position, go with that, even if it's for a little less money (or even no money for the right position). Having real-world production Linux experience will pay big dividends after you have a couple years of experience.

    If you are super studious and don't want to go to college, then you could self-study for the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) cert and RHCE (engineer) as well. You can buy the Michael Jang book on Amazon for $30. I took and passed the RHCSA this way. It took me a while to master everything, but at the end I felt over prepared, the test is not that difficult. It's a practical exam, so if you can pass it, it will tell employers that you know your Red Hat.

    You need to put together a professional resume. Even if you don't have any work-place IT experience, that's what the summary block and cover letters are for on your resume. You can outline the skills you believe you possess. Put your resume on Career Builder, Monster, and Indeed. Many full time candidates in IT are found by professional recruiting firms. It is in their interest to get you hired because they only get paid if they place a candidate in a position. Often times, companies and recruiters don't post openings on those job boards because it costs $400+ per month for each ad. However, recruiters can browse resumes that match criteria, and only pay $1-2 for your contact information. IE, many open positions are never posted due to cost, but recruiters or HR will contact you if you make your resume available online. I cannot recommend doing this enough.

    Don't be afraid to apply to positions that you are under qualified for when it comes to 'education'. Each Linux job I've had required a BS in computer science according to the listing, but I don't have one of those. At the end of the day, employers need people that know Linux. This is where selling yourself in your resume and cover letter come into play.

    At the end of the day, learning Linux is going to be something you have to do mostly yourself. There aren't any cheap/good Linux training centers, and colleges usually only offer an introductory Unix course that teachs basic file system structure and commands like 'ls'. If you're not already a Linux guru, you need to think about what kinds of skills you need to develop. Maybe you know how to setup a sweet conky script on your Arch desktop. That's great, but it's not useful to employers. You need to install and configure web servers, databases, that kind of stuff. Go onto career builder and search through different linux job openings. Look at the skill sets they are asking for, and teach yourself those.

    Buy a suit if you don't already own one. Doesn't need to be super fancy, but it should fit properly.

    If you live in the US near a lot of Military Bases, you should strongly consider getting CompTIA Security+ certified if you want to work in the government sector.

    Feel free to PM me or post any questions you have here. If you need help with your resume, pm me your email address and I'll send you mind so you can see what a successful IT resume looks like.

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    For sure I'd check into local Tech Schools and see what kind of CompTIA stuff they offer. Get the A+ Cert. then move to Network+ and Security+ , there's even one for Linux. This would give you some of the Certifications that you'll need to find a job in IT. Also, Computer Science is a good thing to take as well so you can work at getting that B.S. Degree so you'll have paper to back up your skill. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Linux Enthusiast gruven's Avatar
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    Whether these companies want a BS in Computer Science or not, CS has NOTHING to do with IT Admin. CS is math, math, a lot of science behind programming languages and a huge amount of logic.

    IMO, if you want to be a sysadmin in IT, get a CIT or CIS degree, whatever your local university has. It is a business degree more oriented towards IT and systems administration, but the market is literally flooded with those degrees. Also, a CS degree will teach you nothing about Linux, because in a CS degree the OS doesn't really matter. It is logic, math, and theory. Any good CS degree will not teach you the specifics of the OS, they want to make sure you understand the ideas behind and implementation of algorithms. That way, you can program and/or engineer your own software independent of the platform.

    If you aren't good in math, don't even think about CS. If you are, then that is where you need to be. I am getting my CS degree right now, and I will only need 10 more hours (about 3 - 4 classes) when I reach my CS degree to have a BS in mathematics also.

    In my experience (and it is what a few recruiters have told me), companies put the CS degree on there to deter some people, but if you know your stuff, it won't matter.

    Linux User #376741
    Code is Poetry

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Ditto on the math. Back in 1981 when I went to DeVry I wanted to take the Computer Science course but didn't have the math to get in. Math is just not my thing, never was and never will be. I ended up going through the Technician Certification Course instead and I really enjoyed it, especially the Digital portion of the course. I'd go so far as to say it actually taught me how to think in a technical way and trouble shoot things and I don't only use it for electronics, I've used that skill for just about everything in my live that's needed to be worked on or fixed.

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