There are a various certifications that exist that cover different topics such as the CompTIA Linux+, which gives you a general view of Linux, or the SUSE Certified Administrator, which would specialize you in SUSE Enterprise Linux. As you can tell by the title, I’m going for the RedHat Certified Systems Administrator. There’s one thing in common through all three of these besides Linux is that they cost more than $100. Living alone in an apartment, this type of money can be hard to scrounge up without any outside help. What’s more is that the training for such certifications range anywhere from $45 to over 3000 dollars. How does one come up with that type of money when they’re not already well-positioned in the industry?
The first option, of course, is crowd funding. Crowd funding is a concept that was popularised by the advent of Kickstarter that allows people to contribute money, collectively, towards a purpose. With Kickstarter the purpose is usually to get the production of some new product rolling and/or start a company that provides service X.
Since this doesn’t fit the agenda of the average individual (for example someone trying to get certified), you as a potential SysAdmin would want to look into GoFundMe. This is a personal crowdfunding service that allows people to receive donations for a one-time goal. What’s more is that you can add rewards for the various amounts of money people donate. For example, if somebody donates $20, perhaps you would make a personal thank you video that’s posted your social media that includes a brand they want to advertise. This is the
Patreon is another resource to take advantage of in getting crowdfunded if your journey to becoming certified is a lot more spread out but this is usually reserved for people providing an ongoing service (like I am, in writing about my experience becoming a SysAdmin).
A second potential option, for those with an established and well-maintained level of credit, would be to take out a small loan. Banks will often accept a loan on behalf of individuals aiming to better their future but don’t necessarily have the funds to do so. While the process can be lengthy and will require a bit of documentation to be provided, every bank will have a different set of qualities they would be looking for in an individual looking for these types of loans.
One thing that almost all banks will be looking for, however, is a well-thought plan of attack. They want to know why you want this certification, how this loan helps you achieve the certification and the steps you’ll be taking in order to achieve the certification, such as a training course. What they’ll especially be paying attention to is how you’ll be paying them back. Make sure the terms you set with your bank are favourable in that you’ll be able to easily pay the loan back. You don’t want to end up in the hole if you don’t pass the certification exam.
The last option, and most promising if you’re in the right position, would be to ask your employer to fund your certification. If they see promise in you and think that you would do well in a SysAdmin position, and feel that the company would benefit from having another SysAdmin around, then you’re in luck. Any employer would be more than happy to promote within rather than source a RedHat certified SysAdmin from the outside as they can not only benefit in terms of personnel, but they also benefit from the fact that you’re familiar with the company and more potentially in line with their goals.
Of course there are other courses of action that can be taken to acquire the money required for certification and/or the training, but I just haven’t thought of them yet. Sound off in the comments below with other options you think others would benefit from.
If you like the content that I post here, consider donating to my GoFundMe campaign that was put up in an effort to help me fund my certification.