Demand for Open Source Skills Continues to Grow

Jonathan MathewsPublic

On a scale of one to five, how are your open source skills? If you picked a number below four, you might want to do something about it. According to the Linux Foundation’s annual Open Source Jobs Report released on Wednesday, employment prospects for open source workers continues to rise.

Consider this: 86 percent of open source professionals believe that just knowing open source has advanced their careers, with 52 percent saying it would be easy to find another job. If that doesn’t wet your whistle — only 27 percent report not receiving a recruiting call in the past six months.

Open source skills have been in high demand for a number of years, as open source continues to displace proprietary software in both data centers and in development houses. Salaries for those with open source skills tend to be higher as well. Career website Dice’s annual salary survey — a separate survey from this — indicates that Linux professionals command an annual salary of over $100,000 while other tech professionals take in an average of $92,000.

For the jobs report, the Linux Foundation and Dice partnered and in July surveyed more than 280 hiring managers from corporations, SMBs, government organizations and staffing agencies, the vast majority representing companies headquartered in North America. In addition, more than 1,800 open source professionals were surveyed, 77 percent of whom indicated three or more years spent working in open source.

According to the report, the positions employers are most seeking to fill are developer (73 percent), DevOps engineer (60 percent), and systems administrator (53 percent). The most in-demand skills are open source cloud (47 percent), application development (44 percent), big data (43 percent), DevOps (42 percent) and security (42 percent). Sixty percent of the companies surveyed said they’re looking to take people on full time — up from 53 percent last year — and 67 percent of managers say the hiring of open source professionals will increase more than other areas of the business in the next six months.

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