IT Career Guide

Navigating Career in Linux

Navigating Career in Linux: Going Beyond Systems Administration

Every professional in the tech and IT spaces will attest to how different it is from the casual, everyday use of computers. More importantly, a particular skill will pop up across various specializations in these industries: a working knowledge of the Linux operating systems.

While Linux is commonly associated with cybersecurity and systems administration, other opportunities are just as engaging and lucrative. 47% of software developers rely on Linux-based systems in their jobs.

This article will give you a quick overview of Linux systems and how they can help you land a career in linux especially in systems, software, hardware, and cloud computing applications.

What to Expect from a Linux Professional

EdTech companies like Yellow Tail Tech design their Linux courses to cater to people with little prior knowledge about Linux and information technology. YTT starts by exposing learners to the basics of IT: computer operation, networking, and the industry in general.

A starter program about the Linux operating system (OS) follows basic IT courses. Linux is a long-running operating system line built on a free and open-source software (FOSS) model. This open-source nature means developers can modify an OS’s core programs, known as kernels.

After the basic Linux training, learners are usually sent to learn more specialized modules. Either way, Linux professionals are often expected to have the following skills, according to Red Hat, one of the largest commercial distributors of the OS:

User Account Management

Managing user accounts on your network is a crucial responsibility for any Linux system administrator. This task revolves around managing user access or determining who in your organization can open specific locations of files on the network. 

In most cases, it also includes creating, modifying, and deleting user accounts. Aside from giving different members the necessary access, it also allows the company to gain insights into software and system usage, which helps identify opportunities for process improvement and cost-cutting. 

Hardware Setup and Troubleshooting

Familiarity with computer systems is essential for IT professionals, although often to varying degrees. In the case of Linux professionals, they are expected to learn the physical aspects of computer networking, particularly workstations and servers using the Linux OS.

It’s also worth noting that every Linux OS release can manage resources while handling and managing apps. A good grasp of the underlying concepts of hardware operation helps in designing programs or preparing configurations that optimize these pieces of hardware.

Network Configuration

After hardware setup, IT professionals must understand how networks function, which is vital in various IT-related careers, particularly cybersecurity and cloud computing. For Linux professionals, there are best practices for system security configurations. This should align with hardware specifications, user account management criteria, and software use.

While an integral part of any business, the network management and configuration market is a discrete market segment projected to reach $3,517.52 million by 2031. This promising market includes independent contracting and software development.

SIEM and Monitoring

Security information and event management (SIEM) refers to integrating security information and security events to monitor real-time threats. It is achieved through hardware, software, and network configuration and is crucial to cybersecurity applications.

Since Linux is one of the most commonly used operating systems for network and security devices, understanding SIEM and security monitoring practices offers a great advantage. This knowledge is beneficial if you want to enter the cybersecurity and IT support spaces.

ViM Editor Skills

Linux has been associated with the vi (ViM) editor for as long as any professional can remember. This screen-oriented text editor is used with UNIX and Linux OSes and can create, manage, and edit text files. It is user-friendly and compatible with all Linux distributions, making it a must-have for everyone looking to work.

While these skills are often associated with system administration, they also play a significant role in other aspects of the IT industry. Linux is in constant demand despite the ongoing tech layoffs and the subsequent domino effect on different industries.

An Underrated IT Wildcard: Non-SysAd Career Opportunities for Linux Professionals

Here’s the part that might surprise you: Your skills in Linux can take you places. As mentioned above, different career paths in technology and IT usually share skill sets. After all, most of these professionals work with computers, networks, and the information passed across different locations.

According to a recent survey, there are over 32 million Linux users worldwide, making it reasonable to assume that professionals in this space are not confined to system administration.

Here are four other linux paths you can follow with your skills in Linux operating systems:

Cloud Computing

Many people taking up IT programs are interested in cloud computing and engineering jobs. However, it is worth noting that cloud computing is a rapidly diversifying field that continues to pick up and improve existing technologies from traditional, on-premise computing.

Most cloud-based programs focus on serverless IT infrastructures, often in preparation for a Development Operations (DevOps) career. These EdTech programs focus on AWS Cloud Engineering, VMware, Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud computing platforms used in enterprise-level applications.

At this point, it’s worth noting that an independent analysis revealed that out of the top one million web servers running, 96.3% of them run Linux.

Cloud computing opportunities are not limited to system administration, though. While practically serverless, cloud networks still function a lot like on-premise networks. The main difference is that most infrastructure is hosted on the cloud instead of traditional hardware.

Cybersecurity

Are you looking to be a cybersecurity professional? An in-depth competency with the Linux OS can help you gain an edge—one particular application in the so-called “pen testing” process. One way to test the security capabilities of a computer system is to simulate attacks, evaluate its response, and identify vulnerabilities.

An open-source, freely customizable OS with support for a wide range of virtual machines is perfect for creating artificial attacks. The ability to customize parameters in a self-contained environment means pen testers can make any attack or examine any point of network security as they see fit.

The same traits make Linux a preferred operating system for setting up honeypots. These are decoys attached to a network intended to lure cyberattacks away from the main system.

These are some specialized applications of Linux for cybersecurity. As mentioned, compartmentalizing user access for endpoint detection and response (EDR) measures and SIEM practices can also be done with Linux-related competencies.

Academe

Despite the major technological sector shifts over the years, Linux has remained a staple among professionals. This necessity means there’s always a demand for people who understand and can navigate the Linux environment.

If you have acquired ample knowledge and experience regarding Linux, consider being a trainer or an instructor. Aside from traditional educational institutions, educational technology entities are designed to teach and train aspiring professionals in a more focused and accelerated manner.

Achieve Professional-Level Linux Skills Today

Making educational and career-related choices can be challenging, especially with trends and peer pressure coloring your decisions. However, as the IT and tech industries continue to see changing job market conditions, it might be worth considering upskilling options that are relatively stable.

If you’re ready to get a career in Linux, check out Yellow Tail Tech. As a leading EdTech provider, we are prepared to help people with little to no prior experience receive the knowledge and skills they need to become competitive IT professionals in no time. Book a 10-minute intro call with an Enrollment Advisor now!

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Silvana Zapanta

Sil brings a wealth of experience to her writing and editing projects. After nearly a decade guiding college students in research and communication, she shifted her focus to freelance writing and editing. Her passion for education continues through volunteer work, where she empowers others by teaching research and writing skills.

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