Dice Report Executive summary
It’s a good time to be a technology professional: The technology unemployment rate remains low, employers plan to strengthen their technology work forces in 2014 and salaries are rising. But – it’s a great time – to be a developer or systems administrator with Linux experience. Hiring managers at tech-powered companies are focusing more attention on Linux talent and that’s reverberating in the market, with stronger than average salary increases to those working with Linux.
To better understand why Linux professionals have such a strong advantage in the tech industry, and to learn how employers can attract and retain the best of them, Dice and The Linux Foundation surveyed both hiring managers and Linux talent to gain a 360-degree view of the thriving Linux jobs landscape. The 2014 Linux Jobs Report explores the explosive demand for Linux talent and the lengths employers will go in order to attract and retain the best candidates.
This year’s survey includes responses from more hiring managers and Linux professional than ever before: More than 1,100 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe—as well as responses from more than 4,000 Linux professionals worldwide.
Getting laser focused on Linux
Employers are more acutely focused on finding Linux talent now that they are more confident in the outlook for their companies. Half of the respondents said their plans reflected company growth and a resulting need for more Linux talent and experience, while 35 percent cited an increasing use of Linux throughout the enterprise. In addition, the number of hiring managers who suggest Linux is becoming more core to their business jumped 10 points since last year.
Hiring managers will not skimp when it comes to filling positions that require Linux experience. When asked how they meet their companies’ needs when they are unable to find Linux professionals, the number one answer was: Keep looking. Fifty-four percent said they continue to look until they find a close fit.
The Linux recruiting race is on
The explosive demand for Linux talent is intensifying. Seventy seven 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 in 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-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 systems architecture/engineering (45 percent).
93 percent of hiring managers plan to hire Linux professionals in the next six months.
For many professionals, this demand is translating to lots of calls from employers. Nine in 10 hiring managers said it’s “somewhat” or “very difficult” to find experienced Linux pros—and those who have the right skills and expertise are being aggressively recruited. In fact, three quarters of Linux professionals surveyed said they received at least one call from a recruiter in the last six months. Nearly half of those received six or more calls.
Three-quarters of Linux professionals surveyed said they received at least one call from a recruiter in the last six months. Nearly half of those received six or more calls.
A Linux administration job is one of the most lucrative job opportunities in the job market these days – with less supply than demand and evolving enterprises looking for IT experts who can manage their Linux systems.
In a recent survey titled “The 2013 Linux Jobs Report” by Linux Foundation and Dice, it was revealed that among 2600 Linux professionals, at least 100 said they were receiving job offers while already being on the job, with 35% planning to hop companies within the coming year.
However, the demand is not just for any IT professional, rather Linux-savvy administrators. The reason behind this is that with the introduction of the Cloud Linux and the widespread use of Linux from mobile phones to large enterprises, it was only inevitable that all these systems would need people to manage them.
To get on the bandwagon, you need to have at least a few skills related to Linux, 10 of which are listed below. It should be mentioned that these requirements are the most common among hiring managers, and most companies around the world more or less requires the same list of qualifications before you can apply.
The 10 important skills that Linux administrators must possess are:
1. While specific knowledge is a boon, most hiring managers require that you possess basic knowledge about all aspects of Linux. For example, a little knowledge about Solaris, BSD, nginx or various flavors of Linux never hurt anyone!
2. Knowledge in at least one of the upper tier scripting language is a must. You have options before you, for instance, Python, Perl, Ruby or more, but you need to make yourself proficient in at least one of them.
3. Experience is welcome, but you at least need to have some hands-on experience of system management, system setup and managing Linux or Solaris based servers as well as configuring them.
4. Knowledge in shell programming and architecture is valued very much in the job market. If you know Buorne or Korn well, you can even score a high-paying salary with minimal experience.
5. Storage technologies like FC, NFS or iSCSI is great, while knowledge regarding backup technologies is a must for a system administrator.
6. Knowledge in testing methodologies like Subversion or Git is definitely a plus, while knowledge of version control is also an advantage.
7. You need to know the basics of configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef to present yourself with confidence in front of the interviewer.
8. Skills with system and application monitoring tools like SNMP or Nagios are also important, as they show your ability as an administrator in a team setting.
9. Knowing how to operate virtualized VMWare server is also a great skill to boast in your resume.
10. And last but not least, an ITIL Foundation certification will all but secure your employment in any company looking for a capable and qualified Linux system administrator.
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