Linux: It's where the jobs are

Linux: It's where the jobs are

Summary: The Linux Foundation's most recent job survey reveals that eighty percent of IT companies that use Linux are making hiring Linux professionals a priority.


The Linux job market is ho and getting hotter.

The Linux job market is hot and getting hotter.

The job market is still only slowing shifting back into gear, but the IT job market is still doing better than the general market. And, guess which technology is doing especially well for would-be IT employees? If you said, "Linux," you'd be right.

According to a survey by The Linux Foundation and Dice, the top technology job site of more than 2,000 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium Businesses (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies from across the globe" slightly more than eighty percent of companies that use Linux are making hiring Linux professionals a priority.

The 2012 Linux Jobs Report(PDF link) found:

  • Demand for Linux talent is on the rise, but finding those professionals is difficult.
  • Eight in 10 (81%) survey respondents say that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012. This pressing matter is particularly evident when Linux demand is compared to hiring in other skill sets: 63 percent of hiring managers are increasing Linux hires relative to jobs created in other skill areas. The issue? A full 85 percent say finding Linux talent is somewhat to very difficult, making Linux professionals some of the most sought talent in 2012.
  • Companies are making significant investments to attract and retain Linux talent.
  • Linux professionals garner more full-time positions and better salaries, bonuses and perks. While the pay increase for tech professionals averaged just two percent in 2011, Linux professionals have seen a five percent increase in salaries year-over-year and a 15 percent jump in bonus payouts. Flexible work schedules (37%) additional training and certification programs (30%) and salary increases above the company norm (28%) are among the perks Linux gurus can expect.
  • Mid-level Linux developers and system administrators are the most in-demand.
  • Employers are seeking mostly Linux developers - 67 percent - and systems administrators - 55 percent - with varying levels of experience; though, mid-level professionals appear to be the most highly sought: 75 percent of respondents say they're looking for Linux talent with three to five years of experience.

The demand is only increasing and it's increasing at the expense of other technology skill sets. "(47%) of hiring managers expecting to add more Linux professionals to their firms in the first six months of 2012 than they did in the previous six months. The career outlook for Linux developers, system administrators, and other open source professionals is strong, particularly when compared to demand in other skill-sets: 63 percent of hiring managers are adding Linux hires relative to other skill areas."

Most companies are finding it hard to find qualified Linux professionals. 85 percent of hiring managers say that finding Linux talent is "somewhat to very" difficult.

This is happening because, according to the survey, "Forty-nine percent say their company is growing, which is creating the need for additional Linux-focused team members, while another 48 percent say that they are increasing their use of Linux and need in-house talent to support it. And 30 percent say that Linux has become core to their business and they need to increase participation in the Linux community through new hires."

This isn't just talk. The demand for Linux-savvy employees is showing up in the bottom line. "Nearly two-thirds (66%) of survey respondents are taking aggressive steps to ensure that they retain and reward top Linux professionals. While the average pay increase for tech professionals averaged just two percent in 2011 … according to Dice's annual Salary Survey, in 2011, Linux professionals saw a five percent increase, year-over-year, in their pay as well as a 15 percent jump in bonus payouts. It's clear that professionals with expertise in open source software and the collaborative development model have unmatched levels of job security, as well as unique opportunities for career growth."

As Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's executive director, said in his blog announcing the Linux jobs report, "Google, Facebook, Amazon, Qualcomm, IBM, Intel and hundreds of other companies who rely on Linux to support their businesses, especially their highly-valued data centers and embedded systems, are paying big bucks to find and retain Linux talent."

Specifically, "hiring managers are pursuing Linux developers (67%) and systems administrators (55%) most often to fill open positions, although IT managers (20%) and outside consultants (15%) are also in demand." In short, if you want a good job in IT, Linux is where you want to be.

Linux jobs infographic courtesy of The Linux Foundation

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Finding a Linux Job

IT execs earn $155K on average, make up 5% of IT jobs

Cloud computing's real creative destruction may be the IT workforce

The future of IT jobs? It's in three types of roles

Topics: Linux, Operating Systems, Software, IT Employment

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  • It makes sense

    Since the majority of the servers are Windows based, It makes sense that's what most people trained for. This makes it harder to find qualified Linux based people.
    William Farrel
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @William Farrel
      My dear jester, have some wine!
    • You are a funny guy.

      @William Farrel

      I love your jokes. Please, give us more!
      Not a Fool
    • Oh, let me guess -

      @kirovs@..., Not a Fool<br>The majority of servers are Linux?<br>Then why are the majority of people training in Windows over the years?
      why arethe majority of servers sold Windows based, when the same server can be had for less without Windows?<br><br>Oh, right, you have no answer to that.
      William Farrel
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        @William Farrel
        "Then why are the majority of people training in Windows over the years?"
        Stats and a link please?
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        @William Farrel
        Wow. I can understand people trying to argue in ways that might favour their beliefs with reason, but this is one hell of a tripping on your part. Majority are Windows based? SERIOUSLY?

        The majority of servers have Windows pre-installed on them because Microsoft wouldn't allow the OEMs to sell their hardware without any OS they 'choose' preinstalled (claiming copyright problems will proliferate). If you have to pick an OS preinstalled, as a businessman you will normally 'follow the trend', which is the dominant Microsoft. The companies that buy these servers simply install linux on top of the Windows.

        You seem to be completely out of touch. We're talking about servers, not the market reality of the desktop. You seem to be the only person who don't have answers to anything, while a lot of people are responding to you.
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        @William Farrel In my limited experience. I have worked on computers off and on since 1970, mostly military and aircraft trainer related. I have seen a lot of older systems rejuvenated with Linux rather than being discarded for new hardware and software packages.
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @William Farrel

      I think it's more illuminating that this survey says that from the very few companies that use Linux, only 80% of them are making hiring Linux people a priority.

      This is a non-headline, unless you want to make a big deal about the 20%. They use Linux! so wouldn't you expect it to be 100%?

      Could we please learn more about dogs biting men?
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @William Farrel Windows server only good for non critical things, many people can use it, and it's not talent anymore. Critical and important server needs Linux. And that's talent is hard to find. Windows Server crash, just replace a new one. Linux Server crash, you out of business.
      • "Linux server crash, you are out of business"

        @Voltus <br>Yes, if that is the case, then you DO need better professionals that know how to design for high availability.<br><br>I know you probably didn't mean it that way, but your arguments seem to favour using Windows. For example, you state that talent isn't required to manage Windows. I would have thought that is a GOOD thing for a business.
      • The heavy lifting has always been Unix

        Linux has brought it to the x86/x64 market.

        Don't worry MSCEs, you can keep clicking your SBS installations a while yet.
        Richard Flude
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @William Farrel Sorry, but I must defend SJVN. It does not happen almost never, but this time he's right. It's Linux where the jobs are. And that is because you need a half a dozen Linux "engineers" (ie. computer guys with a skillset stuck at technologies from like two-three decades ago) to manage a Linux server, whereas a Windows box can be managed easily by a soccer mom in a part-time job. So it's just obvious that Linux creates and sustains more jobs, than Windows ever can. And that will only get worser in the future, like with Windows 8, where even the soccer mom will only have to have a look at the server like once in a month, to keep it running properly.
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        Oh, you just turned to be yet another jester in my collection next to Loverock et al. How disappointing. Technologies from 20 years ago you say? Like NTFS? Ooops :-). 'Worser"? Man come out of the basement once in a while. And install Firefox, it has spellchecker.
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @William Farrel

      "Since the majority of the servers are Windows based "

      Oh my God what a piece of knowledge. :)
  • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

    LOL that is the funniest story I read all day. A linux foundation funded study says they might have jobs, SJVN is surprised but the rest of the world isn't. We have seen these types of surveys before and nothing ever comes from it. Its just a way to give the linux crowd false hopes. Lets get real, there is no reason to hire a linux admin or developer when they work for free. I should email some of these corporations and tell them that so they can save some money. I haven't seen any demand for linux lately. The 90's are over.

    [i]In short, if you want a good job in IT, Linux is where you want to be.[/i]
    I have a good job in IT and it doesn't include linux. Worked out well for me so far and I'll continue this path, and if anyone asks me which way to go I'll them that linux is not required.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @Loverock Davidson-
      Your comments are laughable at best. (Worked out well for me so far:LD) Sounds like uncertainty to me.
    • But your job is ALL about Linux. You breathe Linux.

      @Loverock Davidson- <br><br>You strive to keep IT people (zdnet readership) amused. If that qualifies as a job in IT then, yes, you have a job in IT. And you seem to gravitate towards Linux, it looks to me that you are very passionate about Linux, I'd dare to say that you breathe Linux.<br><br>You wrote: "I have a good job in IT and it doesn't include linux." As everyone can see that statement is highly inaccurate, you seem to take Linux to every corner of your life. <br><br>P.S. Your jokes are old and tired, and they were never funny in the first place. You are doing a very poor job at keeping IT people amused and I hope they aren't paying you too much because you don't deserve to be well payed.
      Not a Fool
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        @Not a Fool <br>I hate to say this, since it could come across inflammatory, but Loverock's "jokes" come across like a jilted lover. You have to wonder what the heck happened ~15 years ago, since that is when the Linux (now mis)information he spouts is from.
    • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

      @Loverock Davidson-

      So Dice's involvement means nothing?

      We have a mix of Windows, Linux and Mac where I work. No Mac servers at all. Our servers run VMWare and the host servers are either Linux or Windows. And while our Windows server numbers are pretty static now, our Linux server numbers are growing. AND, Loverock, our Linux admins are paid more than our Windows admins.
      • RE: Linux: It's where the jobs are

        @benched42 <br><br>Yeppers. I was just in the job market. My two skills that people cared about? ESX and Linux. They didn't care about my Windows. The comment was "we can teach anyone how to do that". Not to mention the Windows admin jobs I was offered paid a lot less than they did 12 years ago. The Linux jobs allowed me to keep even, so I'm glad I kept my IT skills up to date and have a Windows/Linux/ESX/CallManager background to keep my options open. If I was Windows only, it'd be a mess right now in the job market.<br><br>What I'm observing from a couple different vantage points is there is a major sea change transition going on well behind the scenes that most people haven't caught onto yet (including SJVN). But the net result will be even more Linux in the data center, a lot of HTML5 apps, and ultimately less Windows on the desktop. The CFO's and CIO's are tired of paying license fees to MS (a couple I've heard were most vocal about eliminating that cost for their business to be more profitable), and the infrastructure (mostly cloud) is almost in place to make paying less fees to MS a reality. Oddly enough, its the widespread iPhone and Android devices that started this change through from proprietary to open standards.