Survey shows companies need Linux talent and they need it bad

Survey shows companies need Linux talent and they need it bad

Summary: Great news for Linux pros and bad news for hiring managers. A survey says companies are desperate for Linux pros in the next six months. Plus, the salaries for Linux staffers are on the rise.


Survey says: Businesses need Linux IT pros, they need them now, and they're willing to pay real money to get them.

Got mad Linux skills? Then the job market wants you and it wants you bad. (Credit: The Linux Foundaiton and Dice.)

The 2013 Linux Jobs Report survey, which was conducted by the Linux Foundation and Dice, the self-proclaimed #1 technology job board, found that hiring managers from corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government, and staffing agencies want Linux professionals — and they want them now.

In particular, this survey of 850 hiring managers and 2,600 Linux professionals found:

  • 93-percent of hiring managers say they will hire a Linux pro in the next six months, an increase from 89 percent in 2012.
  • More hiring managers in 2013 say that finding Linux talent is difficult — nine out of 10 in 2013; eight out of 10 in 2012 — underscoring the opportunity for tech professionals who know Linux.
  • Systems administrators are the most sought-after Linux pros according to hiring managers, representing the growth of Linux in the enterprise to support cloud computing and Big Data. This is followed by developers and development and operations (DevOps) specialists.
  • Seventy-five percent of Linux professionals surveyed have received at least one call from a recruiter in the last six months. These professionals are being pursued by employers offering above average salaries and bonuses. Salaries of Linux professionals jumped 9 percent this year, far out-pacing the 5 percent increase in tech salaries overall (which was the biggest jump in a decade), according to the Dice Salary Survey

In general, Dice has found that, on average, tech professionals earn annual wages of $85,619. . Salaries for Linux pros are well above the average tech salary nationwide, coming in at $90,853. According to Dice, "That [also] represents a 9-percent jump, far outpacing the 5 percent jump in tech salaries overall."

"The improvement in hiring intent from last year’s sky high levels shows that Linux professionals are in a job market of their own. For Linux professionals, the trend is your friend – make sure you are taking advantage of this market’s career opportunities,” said Alice Hill, Managing Director of and President, Dice Labs in a statement.

"The unprecedented demand for Linux professionals represents the growth across industries and the increasing relevance of the collaborative development model,” said Amanda McPherson, VP of marketing and developer programs at The Linux Foundation in a statement. “The 2013 Linux Jobs Report shows that there is unlimited opportunity for college graduates and technology professionals who want to pursue careers in Linux."

Dice and the Foundation also report that employers are looking for experienced workers. "Three to five years is the consistent sweet spot for work experience, with 73 percent of respondents looking for candidates with this level of experience, followed by seeking out professionals with six to nine years of experience"

This is great news if you have some experience, but it's leading to troubling news if you want to hire someone with proven Linux abilities. In an IT job market where Dice has found that 80 percent of U.S. employees plan to stay put at their current jobs, 35-percent of Linux staffers are really to go to greener job pastures. Seventy-four percent of those looking to move are willing to jump for a higher salary while 61 percent would like better work/life balance and 47 percent could be tempted by a flexible work schedule or telecommuting.

Why is Linux so hot? That's an easy question to answer. According to Dice, "Linux is increasingly becoming an essential part of modern day computing, powering everything from mobile devices to enterprise management to consumer electronics. As a result, the professionals who know how to harness its powers are maintaining their own dominance at the top of the IT job market."

To that, I can only add that if you look around, you'll see Linux everywhere. It powers the Web sites you visit, many of the smartphones around you, and increasingly big businesses, which rely upon it for servers and Big Data Linux in one form or another. Linux is becoming the dominant operating system and that means that's also where the jobs are. 

Related Stories:

Topics: Linux, Big Data, Cloud, Data Centers, Enterprise Software, Servers, IT Employment

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  • The way Linux is being hacked anymore

    I can see why they need talented people, because the current crop of Linux admins and developers sure aren’t up to the task of trying to secure a pretty buggy Linux OS.
    I Am Galactus
    • Come along now, come along with me

      Come along now, come along and you'll see
      What it's like to be free
      • Aaaah

        But the Linux fanboi's have forgotten something, yes the OS is free but based on this story the upkeep of Linux is far from free, in face if it gets too high it will defeat the purpose of having a free os.
        • No editor

          I meant "in fact" not in face!
    • With that many unpatched security holes

      they sure need to hire lots Linux people to keep it in one piece.
    • bad news for Linux

      When demand outstrips supply the quicker solution is to move to a platform that has more skilled and easier to train developer/admins - Windows Server 2012 is the BUSINESS.
      • Junk food is good for you

        Quick is not always best, often quick (fast-food) is the worst. Quick fixes can be as much of a problem as the problem itself. Windows products are just quick fixes built on old technology, trying to keep up with the times. Why do you think so many major players are building on top of a Linux foundation? It's no longer viable to work with the holes in Windows. Time to retrain, at least explore other avenues. You wouldn't leave your house unlocked (in most areas) so why install a Windows server/workstation?
    • Inaccurate but you are a ZDNET poster, after all

      All OS's have their problems...not that you are trying to post something rational of course. Do you work for ZDNET and post inaccurate statements just to help them get page views?
  • Why are you guys so uncritical about your sources this time?

    "Microsoft releases study showing that companies need Windows talent and they need it bad. Everyone should become Windows professionals because that is where the future is."

    You guys would TEAR that headline apart. But this:
    "The 2013 Linux Jobs Report survey, which was conducted by the Linux Foundation"

    gets cheering.

    This is why so little of what you say can be taken seriously. You show absolutely no consistency. Well, that isn't true. You are very consistent about your inconsistency.

    Anyway, I'm going to take the ZDNet approach in responding to this article. Because the survey was clearly executed by a biased organization, the survey results can be ignored and your conclusion is clearly wrong:
    "Linux is becoming the dominant operating system and that means that's also where the jobs are."
    • I would expect Dice to be somewhat impartial

      The Linux Foundation, not so much.
      John L. Ries
      • Ah, so as long as MS partners with others, its okay?

        No, wait, it never has been. If MS's name comes up anywhere in the list of companies that had anything to do with the survey, that survey is tainted, at least according to the best and the brightest on ZDNet.
        • Seriously...

          ...when was the last time you saw MS release a study that didn't aid its advertising efforts? Or that was conducted jointly with an organization that could even remotely be considered impartial?

          Besides, I expect for-profit corporations to only release study results if it helps their marketing efforts (I've seen few if any counterexamples); non-profits don't have the legal obligation to make money for their nonexistant stockholders. And Dice really doesn't have a financial interest in what OS' its clients use.
          John L. Ries
          • This was a Linux Foundation survey

            "non-profits don't have the legal obligation to make money for their nonexistant stockholders"

            Are you kidding me that non-profits don't feel any obligation to promote whatever market they represent? Even you admitted that they weren't impartial.

            I would expect the Linux Foundation to do whatever it took in order to increase the standing of Linux in the world, even if it means using statistics to lie about the facts on the ground.

            But, it is good for you guys to advertise your hypocrisy so blatantly. The rest of ZDNet sees you for what you are.
          • Conducted jointly with Dice

            Which doesn't appear to have an axe to grind on this particular issue. And I criticize press release journalism on a regular basis (I even use that phrase in my posts), even if the press release wasn't from MS.

            The Linux Foundation is indeed motivated to promote Linux but it doesn't have the fiduciary obligations that MS has (MS could be sued for releasing study results prejudicial to its marketing efforts; I don't think that's true of nonprofits like the Linux Foundation).
            John L. Ries
          • Good, we'll remember this then

            "Conducted jointly with Dice
            Which doesn't appear to have an axe to grind on this particular issue"

            So the next time a survey is released by a survey company and it was conducted jointly with Microsoft, it won't matter that MS was a part of it. This is the standard you have set. Thanks John.

            "I don't think that's true of nonprofits like the Linux Foundation"

            Linux Foundation is biased to the core. There are real people paid real money in a non profit and those people will do whatever it takes to keep their jobs, even lie using statistics, as they've clearly done this time.
          • So why do you think they're lying?

            Bias is one thing. Deliberate deception (which is what lying really is) is quite another, and a much more serious offense.
            John L. Ries
          • Does it matter?

            There is no discussion of whether or not a survey result could possibly be true when MS is involved.

            I see absolutely no reason to put any more thought into this one as you guys do when MS is involved.

            It is clear they are lying because they have a bias. End of story, no more analysis required.
          • That's about what I thought

            Even the devil needs an advocate, but the business of advocates is to persuade, not to inform.

            I did say that self-interested corporate sponsorship was grounds for suspicion, but that doesn't by itself invalidate the results.
            John L. Ries
          • Most likly not lying!

            But they are using statistics, which as we all know can be made to show the outcome people desire.
          • You'll note...

            ...that I consistently define lying as deliberate deception, even if it's technically accurate.

            A deceptive half truth (to include misleading use of statistics) is a lie, but fiction (not expected to believed) is not.
            John L. Ries