Demand for Linux Skills Growing Faster Than Talent Pool: Report

While 92 percent of hiring managers plan to hire Linux pros in the next 6 months, 88 percent said it's very or somewhat difficult to find qualified candidates.

Linux jobs

Demand for skilled Linux professionals continues to outpace the supply of qualified candidates, according to the Linux Foundation, which on March 4 released its 2015 Linux Jobs report, produced by career Website Dice.

"The year-over-year data really underscores the trends we've all been witnessing: Linux has become the world's most ubiquitous operating system, and companies need more talent to support it," Amanda McPherson, Linux Foundation chief marketing officer, told eWEEK. "As such, we expected the stats around hiring managers prioritizing Linux talent to remain high, and they did."

The study, based on surveys completed by 1,010 hiring managers and 3,446 Linux professionals, found that 92 percent of hiring managers plan on bringing professionals with Linux skills on board in the next six months.

While hiring managers want to hire more Linux professionals, that's a task that's easier said than done. The study found that 88 percent of hiring managers indicated that it's very or somewhat difficult to find qualified Linux candidates.
"Linux is being used in so many places in so many ways that its pervasiveness in computing is growing faster than the pool of Linux talent," McPherson said.

The need for skilled Linux professionals is also impacting Linux vendors like SUSE. "If SUSE is an indicator, the Linux job market looks strong as we have 60 open positions currently posted on our Website, and other Linux providers are also hiring," Kerry Kim, SUSE director of corporate communications, told eWEEK.

The Linux Foundation is working on helping to increase the Linux talent pool and ensure that people pursuing Linux careers have access to the tools, training and certification that they need, McPherson said. The foundation is also beginning to see professionals proficient in supporting other operating systems explore Linux, which will help the supply side of the employment equation, she said.
Though it is challenging for employers to find skilled Linux employees, Linux professionals are having an easy time finding jobs. The study found that 55 percent of surveyed Linux professionals thought that it would be very or fairly easy to find jobs in 2015. That optimism is fueled by the fact that 72 percent of respondents have received at least one call from a recruiter in the last six months.

In terms of areas within Linux that are expected to see growth in 2015, cloud tops the list, with 49 percent of Linux professionals expecting it to be the top Linux growth area. Only 19 percent of Linux professionals indicated that container technology will be an area of growth for Linux job skills in 2015.

Job satisfaction for Linux professional is also growing, the study showed.

"Last year, 51 percent of professionals surveyed said their passion for Linux was the primary reason they were seeking a career in this area," McPherson said. "This year, that number jumped to 75 percent. Knowing Linux is a good place to be. "

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.