Linux Professionals Most Valuable Tech Employees

The tech industry is relatively booming compared to the rest of the economy and they’re looking to hire – you’ll just want to learn Linux before you go job hunting. The Linux Foundation ...
Linux Professionals Most Valuable Tech Employees
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The tech industry is relatively booming compared to the rest of the economy and they’re looking to hire – you’ll just want to learn Linux before you go job hunting.

The Linux Foundation and Dice has partnered to compile the “2012 Linux Jobs Report.” The subtitle for the study, “Strong demand drives higher salaries, more perks for Linux professionals” says it all, but the study is worth diving into for those Linux professionals looking for work.

The study begins by saying that the IT job market is “a bright spot in otherwise uneven economies.” The unemployment for IT professionals is just at 3.8 percent, which is a major improvement from the rate of 5.3 percent last year. They feel that the decrease in unemployment is due to the increased adoption of Linux in the IT workplace.

They went out to find answers by surveying more than 2,000 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses, government organizations and staffing agencies around the world.

The first section of the survey is titled, “Demand for Linux talent exceeds supply.” They have found that eight in 10 survey respondents say that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012. With that in mind, nearly half of hiring managers questioned expect to add more Linux professionals to their staff in the first half of 2012 compared to the first six months last year.

A lot of jobs in the tech industry have become part-time or contract work, but they’ve found that 56 percent of respondents say that Linux positions will be full-time. They find that Linux professionals are in a better position to secure full-time positions than others.

The only problem is that Linux professionals are hard to find according to hiring managers. In fact, 85 percent of them say that finding Linux talent is “somewhat to very” difficult.

To make up for the shortage, 49 percent of companies will continue searching until they find the right person; 39 percent will seek to train their existing employees; and 31 percent will hire a consultant.

The question this all brings, however, is what’s driving this need for Linux professionals? Forty-nine percent say their company is growing while 48 percent say that they are increasing their use of Linux and need new talent to support it. Thirty percent interestingly say that Linux has become core to their business and they need to increase participation in the Linux community.

Now then, if you’re one of these Linux professionals who just got hired on at a company for your expertise, what kind of benefits can you expect?

Sixty-six percent of respondents said that they are taking “aggressive steps” to retain and reward top Linux professionals.

The average pay increase for IT professionals was two percent last year. Linux professionals saw a pay increase of five percent year-over-year as well as a 15 percent jump in bonus payouts.

Here’s a graph detailing what else Linux professionals can expect from potential employers:


Now that all this information has been revealed, what is the aspiring Linux developer going to find work in?

In 2012, 67 percent of hiring managers are looking for Linux developers whereas 55 percent are looking for systems administrators. Twenty percent are also looking for IT managers and 15 percent are looking to hire outside consultants. Of course, to get these jobs, you will need experience as 75 percent of respondents want applicants to have three to five years of Linux experience.

The large companies (500 or more employees) are looking for a different set of skills. Forty-nine percent of large companies are looking for Linux application developers whereas 46 percent want employees with kernel development skills. This is due to companies relying more on Linux-based systems to run their business, but they are also becoming more involved with Linux kernel development.

The survey also looked at how companies are teaching their employees how to use Linux. Self-directed learning is at the forefront with 68 percent of respondents using the method.


The two biggest markets for Linux developers right now are North America and Asia. Nearly half of all North American companies are citing company growth as the reason behind Linux job creation with 71 percent of them looking specifically for Linux developers.

The Asian market sees nine out of 10 respondents saying that hiring Linux developers is a priority in the year ahead.

For those that want to read the full report, you can do so here.

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