Linux-savvy IT pros are in high demand but low supply

The 2013 Linux Jobs Report, released yesterday by the Linux Foundation, shows that Linux skills are in high demand in the IT world, with 93 percent of hiring managers looking to hire a Linux professional in the next six months. But that's only if they can find any with sufficient skills, a task that's proving quite challenging.

Hiring managers in the Linux survey said they were finding it difficult to source good Linux talent — 90 percent said so this year as opposed to 80 percent last year. And 93 percent of those 850 hiring managers said they will be hiring a Linux person before Q3 rolls around, a 4 percent increase from last year’s survey.

In a survey of 850 hiring managers and 2,600 Linux professionals across the globe, Dice and the Linux Foundation discovered that such trends as open cloud development, big data, and increased migrations to Linux are driving businesses and governmental agencies to aggressively woo Linux-savvy IT workers. Salaries for Linux pros jumped 9 percent this year to $90,853, outpacing the 5 percent jump in tech salaries overall. The average tech salary in the United States is currently around $85,619, according to the report.

The Linux job in highest demand is systems administrator: 73 percent of respondents said they seek to fill that position in the near future. Linux professionals who understand embedded development and Linux kernel architecture will also be heavily recruited in 2013, according to the report; 57 percent of respondents said they need Linux developers to create new products, devices, and applications. Twenty-five percent said they're looking for workers with devops expertise.

The challenge companies face is finding the right talent: Nine out of 10 respondents said that it's "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to find experienced Linux pros, a 4 percent increase over last year. Nearly 25 percent of hiring managers said that they've gone so far as to seek training for existing employees to meet their Linux needs when they couldn't find an adequately skilled candidate.
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