A recent report from Linux Foundation and Dice revealed that many companies are “desperately” in need of more Linux-based workers. In fact, more than 93 percent of the surveyed organizations plan to hire professionals who have experience with the open-source operating system in the next six months.
The report polled more than 850 recruitment managers from businesses of all sizes worldwide, both in the private and public sectors. It also surveyed more than 2,600 Linux professionals all over the world.
Key findings from the report:
1. The demand for Linux professionals is rising, making recruitment difficult.
Almost all hiring managers in the study indicated that they are planning to hire a Linux professional within the next six months. That corresponds to a 4 percent increase from the previous year’s 89 percent.
More than this, close to nine out of every ten hiring managers say it was difficult to find Linux professionals who have the experience.
2. Linux professionals with experience have higher salaries and better job opportunities than other IT professionals.
Because the demand is high and the talents available are scarce, companies and businesses are willing to pay more for an experienced Linux professional.
The survey found that salaries increased by 9 percent year over year in 2013, almost double the 5 percent increase in salary for all tech jobs.
More than that, even in an economic downturn, three out of every four Linux professionals received calls from at least one recruiter in the past six months, with 35 percent of them saying that they plan to transfer to another company in 2013.
More than higher salaries and better job opportunities, however, experienced Linux professionals can also expect flexible work schedules and telecommuting, which both lead to a better work and life balance.
3. Companies are mostly looking for developers, systems administrators and DevOps who are skilled in Linux.
These three professionals are the top Linux jobs according to demand.
4. More and more companies are using Linux, hence the need for experienced Linux professionals.
What would explain the increased demand for Linux professionals? Simple: A lot of companies are expanding, and in doing so, they are either using Linux more in their operations, or they are migrating to Linux-based systems.
A little context can help further shed light on the importance of this study. The study was conducted by the Linux Foundation, after all. How accurate is it?
Let’s take a look at the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a bigger picture.
1. Systems Administrator
According to the latest data from the BLS, systems administrators earned, on the average, close to $70,000 annually, with 9 out of every 10 systems administrators working full time.
What’s more, from 2010 to 2020, the number of jobs available for systems administrators is expected to grow by 27 percent, way faster than the average job growth for all occupations during the same period.
This means that while there were 347,200 IT professionals working as network and computer systems administrators in 2010, that number is expected to rise to 443,800 just 10 years later.
2. Database Administrators
Database administrators need to know the basics of the underlying operating systems they are using, and this includes Linux.
Median pay for the 110,800 database administrators in 2010 was more than $73,000 annually.
Job prospects for database administrators are quite good, with the BLS forecasting that there will be 31 percent more jobs for database administrators in 2020, which means a job prospect of 144,800 DB admin jobs.
3. Software Developers
Half of the 913,100 software developers in the United States earned of more than $90,000 a year in 2010.
By 2020, it is expected that there would be close to 1.2 million software developers. This represents a 30 percent growth in a 10-year period.
So, how do you become a Linux pro?
Having the right education and the right job experience would help you land a Linux-based job. But if you need help in trying to convince hiring managers that you have the skills necessary to work with Linux, a reputable certification program just might give you an edge.
Here are some of the better known and more sought after Linux certifications available:
Linux Professional Institute certifications
The Linux Professional Institute offers three levels of professional certifications: LPIC 1, LPIC 2 and LPIC 3. The LPIC Level 1 is a junior-level certification that tests your knowledge of Linux command lines, maintenance skills, and installation and configuration know-how.
The LPIC Level 2 validates your ability to administer a small- or medium-sized site and supervise other Linux professionals. You should also know how to plan, create, implement, maintain and secure mixed networks, as well as know which automation and other hardware tools to purchase.
The LPIC Level 3 is for senior-level Linux professionals and would test your skills in conceptualizing, installing and troubleshooting, as well as constructing LDAP software and other Linux systems.
Red Hat Certified Engineer
The Red Hat Certified Engineer would test your skills in using systems running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. You would need to be a Red Hat Certified System Administrator to pursue this certification.
CompTIA has its own Linux certification geared towards junior-level Linux administrators. Its content is from the LPI, so getting a CompTIA Linux+ certification entitles you to become a LPIC 1 certified as well.
Novell Certified Linux Administrator
Novell Certified Linux Administrator (CLA) is also an entry-level certification that allows you to apply for a LPIC 1 and a CompTIA Linux+ certification if you pass the CLA, without having to pay for anything more or take additional certification exams.
After getting your CLA, you can move on to become a Novell Certified Linux Engineer, which would test for more advanced skills in Linux.
Now that you know how in-demand Linux-skilled professionals are, will you plan to boost your knowledge? Or, maybe you’ll consider one of these fields where the skills gaps is also an issue. If you need more convincing that upping your Linux skills can pay off, check out this infographic that highlights some of the more surprising stats from the study.