A million students and counting have learned Linux

The Linux Foundation's Free Introduction to Linux class has just passed the million enrollment mark.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Six years ago, The Linux Foundation launched its first free online class: Introduction to Linux. Today, The Linux Foundation, announced its free Introduction to Linux training course on the edX Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform and had more than a million enrollments. Not bad for what Linus Torvalds called "just a hobby" operating system.

Of course, now, that little operating system runs the web, rules supercomputing, powers the cloud, keeps Android smartphones working, and even shows up on a few desktops. What really brings people to this class, though, is good old filthy lucre. 

A recent Dice technology job study database found that Linux engineers and systems administrators' salaries are paid more, on average, than their competitors. An Indeed job survey showed that the top operating system employers are looking for is Linux.  A similar study by Burning Glass, which tracks millions of job postings from across the US, also shows that companies want staffers who know Linux far more so than any other operating system. If you want a job in tech support for the rest of your life, learn Windows. If you want a career in tech, learn Linux.

This class along with The Linux Foundation entry-level certification, the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA), can help you get started. This gives you a good working knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and shell across the major Linux distribution families. No prior knowledge or experience is required. Oh, and did I mention it's free? 
Introduction to Linux has helped many individuals launch their IT careers. Jules Bashizi Irenge, for example, completed the course. He then took the intermediate Essentials of System Administration training and received a Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin (LFCS) certification, and now is a Ph.D. candidate who has contributed over 200 patches to the Linux kernel. Fabian Pichardo also followed the introductory course with Essentials of System Administration and an LFCS. He's now employed full time as a software developer.

System administration is an excellent career path for Linux-savvy people. With the rise of DevOps and the cloud, both of which are almost entirely Linux-oriented, this makes perfect sense. 

Not everyone will do this well, but if you don't try, you'll never get anywhere. This class is a great first step.

Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin agrees: "To have introduced over a million individuals to Linux is a tremendous milestone. One of our primary goals is to bring more talent into the open-source community and offering free, high-quality training that is accessible to anyone who wants it is essential to achieving that goal. We look forward to training the next million!"

Anant Agarwal, edX's Founder and CEO, acknowledges that the Introduction to Linux has been "A true blockbuster. It's one of our top 10 most popular courses of all time. We're thrilled to congratulate Linux Foundation on reaching 1 million enrollments and look forward to bringing accessible high-tech education to countless more learners, together."
Introduction to Linux remains open for new enrollments. There is no cost to complete the course, and verified certificates of completion are available for $99. The Linux Foundation offers two dozen free training courses on open source projects including Linux, Kubernetes, Hyperledger, and more in partnership with edX.

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