Linux job market heats up

Want a tech job? Then polish up your Linux skills and you will be handsomely rewarded.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals, and The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the growth of Linux and collaborative development, has just released the 2014 Linux Jobs Report  (PDF Link). The two found that "The explosive demand for Linux talent is intensifying."

The rest of the IT job market may be shrinking, but the Linux job market is still growing.

Specifically, the data from over a thousand hiring managers found that 77 percent of hiring managers have "hiring Linux talent" on their list of priorities for 2014, up from 70 percent a year ago. More than nine out of ten hiring managers plan to bring Linux professionals on board in the next six months. Furthermore, 46 percent plan to boost their hiring of Linux pros in 2014, a 3-point increase over 2012."

In particular, the in-demand Linux skills will continue to cross both the developer and enterprise management areas, providing diverse opportunities to meet a wide range of Linux skill sets. According to the survey, the areas of expertise that hiring managers are most aggressively seeking include systems administration, 58 percent; Linux application development, 45 percent; and system architecture/engineering, 45 percent.

This demand, in turn, is driving salaries for Linux experts above industry norms. "Linux professionals enjoyed salary increases over the past year that exceeded the average for technology professionals by more than 2 percentage points. These professionals also received an average bonus of $10,336, up 12 percent from the previous year."

It's not just the money that's making Linux administrators and developers happy. More than 4,000 Linux staffers surveyed said the No. 1 thing they liked about working with Linux is that they got to work on "interesting projects." Second was "working on the most cutting-edge technology challenges" and third was "more job opportunities." The responses underscore what recruiters and industry leaders already know instinctively: Linux workers really like what they do. And they’ll have lots of opportunities to keep doing it this year, and to build their careers for many years to come."

"While demand continues to grow for Linux talent, there remains a shortage of experienced Linux professionals on the market. This year’s Linux Jobs Report clearly illustrates this issue," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation in a statement. "This year’s report also shows there is unlimited career advancement for developers and systems administrators who contribute to and seek out learning opportunities for Linux. The future is a bright one for professionals who know Linux."

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