10 PowerShell courses to help hone your skills
Learn what popular online PowerShell courses -- including those from Udemy, Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning -- offer for beginners and advanced systems administrators.
PowerShell can be one of the most effective tools administrators have for managing Windows systems. But it can be difficult to master, especially when time is limited. An online PowerShell course can expedite this process by prioritizing the most important topics and presenting them in logical order.
Admins have plenty of PowerShell courses from which to choose, offered by well-established vendors. But with so many courses available, it isn't always clear which ones will be the most beneficial. To help make the course selection process easier, here we offer a sampling of popular PowerShell courses that cater to varying levels of experience.
Windows currently ships with PowerShell 5.1, but PowerShell 7.3 is the current release version and has been available since late 2022. PowerShell Core is a cross-platform version of PowerShell that runs on multiple OS platforms. It isn't an upgrade to Windows PowerShell but a separate application that runs on the same system.
Some of the PowerShell courses listed here, as well as other online classes, specify the PowerShell version on which the course is based. But not all classes offer this information, and some courses provide only a range, such as PowerShell 4 or later. Before signing up for an online course, be sure to verify the PowerShell version.
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1. Mastering Windows PowerShell v5.1 & 7, Beginner to Advanced by Udemy
Course summary. This course provides a great opportunity for administrators to learn the basics of PowerShell, including the latest version 7. During this course, you'll learn the PowerShell Syntax and the different commands you can use to perform several different administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.
The course is broken down into 12 sections that include an introduction to PowerShell, information on the different commands available and how to run them, and tutorials for coding in PowerShell to support automation and other scripting activities.
Duration. 9 hours, 38 minutes
2. PowerShell 7: Beginner to Advanced by Udemy
Course summary. This is a great course for administrators looking to learn the latest and greatest PowerShell commands. This tutorial digs deeper into all areas of PowerShell that relate to the different modules available for use. It also describes how to use PowerShell Alias to streamline scripting and run commands in PowerShell. This course also provides instructions on how to interact with folders and files, which is commonly needed by administrators.
The course has 16 sections with more than 148 lectures to help you choose the area you want to focus on.
Duration. 12 hours, 33 minutes
3. Introduction to Windows PowerShell 5.1 by Udemy
Course summary. This tutorial, which is one of Udemy's highest-rated PowerShell courses, is geared toward admins who want to learn how to use PowerShell to perform management tasks. The course is broad in scope and covers PowerShell 5.1. Those who sign up for this course should have a basic understanding of the Windows OS, both desktop and server versions.
This course explains the differences between PowerShell and the Windows command prompt, how to determine the PowerShell version, and how to work with aliases. It also examines the steps necessary to run unsupported commands and create PowerShell transcripts.
Duration. 7 hours, 32 minutes
4. PowerShell 7 Fundamentals by Pluralsight
Course summary. Pluralsight offers a variety of PowerShell courses and learning paths. A path is a series of related courses that provide you with a strategy for learning a specific technology. This path includes 12 courses ranging from beginner to advanced. You should come away with a strong foundation for creating PowerShell scripts that automate administrative processes. Before embarking on this path, however, you should have a basic understanding of Windows networking and troubleshooting.
The beginning courses on this path provide you with the information you need to start working with PowerShell, even if you're a first timer. You'll learn how to use cmdlets, work with objects and get help when you need it. These courses also introduce concepts such as aliases, providers and mapping network drives.
The advanced courses build on the beginning and intermediate tutorials by focusing on automation scripts. You'll learn how to use PowerShell scripting to automate routine processes and tasks. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot problems in your scripts if PowerShell exhibits unusual behavior. The path approach might not be for everyone, but for those ready to invest their time in a comprehensive program, this path could prove a valuable resource.
Duration. 24 hours
Cost: Pluralsight doesn't charge by course. It offers three personal plans and two business plans. The personal plans start at $299 per year and the business plans start at $579 per user, per year. All plans include access to the entire course library. In addition, Pluralsight offers a 10-day personal free trial and, like Udemy, courses geared toward IT certification.
5. Practical Desired State Configuration by Pluralsight
Course summary. Those not suited to a learning path can choose from a variety of other Pluralsight courses that address specific technologies. This highly rated course caters to advanced users and provides real-world examples of how to use PowerShell to write Desired State Configurations (DSCs). Those interested in the course should be familiar with PowerShell and DSC principles.
DSC refers to a new way of managing Windows Server that shifts the focus from point-and-click GUIs to infrastructure as code. To achieve this, admins can use PowerShell to build DSCs. This process is the focus of this course, which covers several advanced topics ranging from writing configurations with custom resources to building dynamic collector configurations.
The tutorial demonstrates how to use custom resources in a configuration and offers an in-depth discussion of securing DSC operations. Participants then learn how to use the DSC model to configure and manage AD, covering topics such as building domains and creating users and groups. The course demonstrates how to set up Windows event forwarding. Although not everyone is looking for such advanced topics, for some users, this course might be just what they need to progress their PowerShell skills.
Duration. 4 hours, 23 minutes
Cost. Pluralsight subscription is required.
6. PowerShell 5 Essential Training by LinkedIn Learning
Course summary. Of the 13 online PowerShell courses offered by LinkedIn Learning -- formerly Lynda.com -- this is the most popular. The course targets beginner and intermediate PowerShell users who are Windows systems admins. Although the course is based on the older version of PowerShell, it still covers all the fundamental components, such as the use of modules and snap-ins as well as general syntax to help administrators new to PowerShell learn scripting capabilities.
The material covers most of the basics one would expect from a course at this level. It explains how to set up and customize PowerShell, and it introduces admins to cmdlets, their syntax and methods to find help. This is followed by installing modules and packages. The course also describes how to use the PowerShell pipeline, covering topics such as working with files and printers as well as storing data as a webpage.
The course moves onto objects, their properties and their methods. Participants can learn how to create scripts that incorporate variables and parameters so they can automate administrative tasks. Participants are also introduced to PowerShell ISE and shown how to use PowerShell remoting to manage multiple systems at once, along with practical examples of administrative operations at scale.
Duration. 3 hours, 38 minutes
7. PowerShell: Scripting for Advanced Automation by LinkedIn Learning
Course summary. This course, also offered by LinkedIn Learning, focuses on automating advanced administrative operations in a Windows network. Those planning to take the course should have a strong foundation in managing Windows environments. As its name suggests, the course is geared toward advanced users.
After a brief introduction the course jumps into DSC automation, providing an overview of DSC and explaining how to set up DSCs. You'll learn how to work with DSC resources, push DSCs and create pull configurations. The course then moves onto Just Enough Administration, explaining JEA concepts and best practices. In this part of the course, participants learn how to create role capability files and JEA session configurations and how to register JEA endpoints.
The final section of the tutorial describes how to troubleshoot PowerShell scripts. The discussion begins with an overview of PowerShell workflows and examines the specifics of troubleshooting PowerShell in both the console and ISE. The section ends with information about using the PSScriptAnalyzer tool for quality control. As with any advanced course, not all users will benefit from this information. But the tutorial could provide a valuable resource for admins looking to refine their PowerShell skills.
Duration. 1 hour, 20 minutes
8. Introduction to PowerShell by Microsoft Learning
Course summary. This course offers some of the basics of PowerShell for administrators who are unfamiliar with it. Administrators will learn how to run basic PowerShell commands and receive several exercises to practice.
Duration. 16 minutes
9. PowerShell Online Training by CBTnuggets
Course summary. In this advanced Microsoft skills training, you'll learn how to make command-line and graphical tools from scratch with PowerShell.
PowerShell is a powerful scripting language designed by Microsoft specifically for systems administrators. Using cmdlets, PowerShell can do everything the various administration dashboards can do and more. PowerShell cmdlets also can be used in larger scripts that perform automated tasks.
By completing this PowerShell course, systems administrators will have a good handle on PowerShell and will have one of the best tools to advance their careers.
For anyone with systems administrators on their team, this PowerShell training can be used to onboard new systems administrators, curated into individual or team training plans or used as a PowerShell reference resource.
Duration. 66 hours
Cost. A monthly or annual subscription is required. CBTnuggets offers a monthly subscription for $59.00 per learner per month or an annual subscription for $599.00 per learner per year.
10. Automate administrative tasks by using PowerShell by Microsoft Learning
Course summary. PowerShell can be used to automate tasks such as user management, CI/CD, managing cloud resources and much more. You'll learn more about PowerShell as well as how to run commands and create/run script files.
Duration. 2 hours, 57 minutes