More Open Source Jobs Remain Vacant With Scarcity of Skilled Linux Talent

open-source talent is in high demand by employers

If you have the Linux skills to bolster a solid IT foundation, you will be in high demand for a job working in the open source software industry.

Hiring is rebounding in the wake of the pandemic, as organizations look to continue their digital transformation activities. This is evidenced by 50 percent of employers The Linux Foundation surveyed who stated they are increasing hires this year.

However, employers must be ready to face two significant challenges.

First, with 92 percent of managers reporting difficulty finding enough talent, they also struggle to hold onto existing talent in the face of fierce competition.

Second, the rapid adoption of open-source software is widening the skills gap in the market. This is especially true for cloud native application development and operations skills, topping the list of 46 percent of hiring managers.

Open Source Jobs Report

The Linux Foundation this week released its ninth annual “2021 Open Source Jobs Report,” examining the demand for open-source talent and trends among open-source professionals.

To produce the report, The Linux Foundation teamed with edX, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider started by Harvard and MIT — and a trusted platform for learning Linux.

LF officials planned to highlight the full report later this month at the yearly Open Source Summit. But it leaked early.

“Open-source talent is in high demand, encouraging the most experienced pros to look for new opportunities while hiring managers battle it out for the most desirable candidates,” Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation’s executive director, told LinuxInsider.

What’s Inside the Report

Besides leads on some great jobs this year, the report details growth in cloud adoption and demand for talent in that and other areas. It also shows a big spike in use of DevOps, increased demand for certifications, worsening diversity issues in the open-source community, and more.

“This year’s report makes it clear that Covid-19 has only exacerbated skills gaps and hiring needs that were bubbling to the surface pre-pandemic, especially in the high technology sector,” said Johannes Heinlein, chief commercial officer and senior vice president of strategic partnerships at edX.

It is promising to see that employers are meeting these needs by increasing training and learning opportunities, he said about edX’s focus on Linux and open-source education.

“We need to empower organizations to invest in this type of training in order to meet the tech talent demands of today and tomorrow,” he added.

The jobs report examines trends in open-source careers, which skills are most in-demand, the motivation for open-source professionals, and how employers attract and retain qualified talent.

This year’s report features analysis of data from more than 200 hiring managers at corporations, SMBs, government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe. It also includes responses from more than 750 open-source professionals worldwide.

Job Report Highlights

Key findings from the “2021 Open Source Jobs Report” show that qualified open-source talent is still in short supply. The LF and edX report reveals half of all participating companies accelerated hiring as talent shortages persist.

The open-source talent shortage is no better this year. An overwhelming number of hiring managers (92 percent) report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open-source skills.

Last year’s report found that the same percentage of hiring managers could not fill available job roles. Two years ago, only 48 percent of hiring managers reported that hiring problem.

Cloud and container technology skills are most in demand by hiring managers. That category surpassed Linux for the first time in the history of this report, with 46 percent of hiring managers seeking cloud talent.

Discrimination is a growing concern in the community. The number of open-source professionals reporting they have been discriminated against or made to feel unwelcome in the community increased to 18 percent this year. That is a 125 percent increase over the past three years.

Best Job Leads

For job seekers looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps, Linux, and data security hold the most promising opportunities, according to Zemlin.

DevOps has become the standard method for developing software. Nearly all open-source professionals (88 percent) report using DevOps practices in their work. This represents a 50 percent increase from three years ago.

Demand for certified talent spikes this year. Managers are prioritizing hires of certified talent (88 percent), with a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications.

Training is increasingly helping close skills gaps, the report found. Large numbers of professionals are demanding more training opportunities from their employers, demonstrated by 92 percent of managers reporting an increase in requests.

Employers also report that they prioritize training investments to close skills gaps, with 58 percent using this tactic. By comparison, 29 percent bring in external consultants to close their skill gaps.

The full “2021 Open Source Jobs Report” is free to download here.

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.

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