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Learn Active Directory from online courses and programs

Network administrators rely on a variety of tools to streamline their work so they can focus on important tasks. Learn Active Directory and increase your team’s productivity with online courses delivered through edX.

What is Active Directory? 

It is a common business practice to provide employees with varying levels of network access. This is often determined by an individual’s position and responsibilities. Permissions are typically linked to their login credentials, which tell the network how much access to provide a particular user.

Active Directory (AD) is a Microsoft-built structure that stores, organizes, and makes data available to those who need it. In organizations that share a local or distributed network, AD serves as a gatekeeper that can grant or deny access to files, email accounts, web sites, and other business resources. This database may include a list of workstations, users, and the permissions each of these “objects” have to access those resources.Footnote 1

Types of Active Directory include: 

  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD): a cloud-based identity service that offers several vital security features for enterprise customers, including multi-factor authentication and conditional access.Footnote 2

  • Hybrid Azure AD (Hybrid AAD): a type of implementation where a device is registered through Azure AD but joined to an on-premises AD.Footnote 3 It allows users who typically log in via Azure AD to access AD directly when on-site.

  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS): a tool used to avoid deploying or managing domain controllers via managed domain devices. Its main feature is the ability to easily connect Azure virtual machines to a managed domain.Footnote 4

By using Active Directory, human resources and IT departments can control almost all of the permissions activity on their organization’s network. This includes handling authentication and authorization to ensure users only access the resources and data they are supposed to.

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Active Directory tutorial curriculum

Active Directory can be a useful tool to learn for anyone looking to master user management. If you’re interested in using it for your own organization, it can help to enroll in an Active Directory tutorial. A course curriculum may cover:

  • How to set up Active Directory

  • How to set up a domain controller

  • How to create directory users

  • What are Active Directory events

  • What are trust types

  • What are forests and trees

Depending on the duration of the course, you may also learn advanced features such as how to implement group policy objects or manage certificate services. These skills can help you protect sensitive information within your organization and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access.

Explore the variety of learning opportunities offered through edX. From earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science to building specific skills with a cybersecurity boot camp or through a coding boot camp, you can find many different educational options that align with your professional goals.

Jobs that use Active Directory 

Active Directory can be a useful tool for professionals in a variety of roles and industries. Any organization that provides employees with access to a shared network can benefit from using AD or a similar program.

From information technology to cybersecurity, there are many career paths that can leverage the capabilities offered by Active Directory. Some of these positions include:

  • Technical support specialists: use AD to provide or limit user access to an organization’s network.Footnote 5

  • Computer systems administrators: use AD to ensure that all employees are connected to the network whether working on-site or remotely.Footnote 6

  • Network security engineers: use AD to ensure the security of important business information.Footnote 7

Knowledge of Active Directory on its own is not enough to qualify for any of the above roles. For those who already have a bachelor’s degree or experience in systems administration, earning a master’s degree can provide advanced context around how to implement AD for your organization.

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