Linux skills are a hot commodity today.
More employers are looking to hire people with Linux experience and
skills than another skill sets, according to numbers from Dice.com, a
major job board for technical professionals.
Scot Melland, CEO and president of Dice, reports that while IT job
listings on his site have doubled in the past 12 months, job listings
calling for Linux skills have gone up 190 percent. At this time last
year, Dice was listing about 25,000 jobs. Today, there are more than
50,000 jobs listed. And a year ago, there were 860 to 900 Linux-related
jobs listed, while there are 2,500 listed now.
”The demand for Linux skills is absolutely growing and it’s growing
faster than the overall demand for tech professionals,” says Melland.
”It’s definitely one of the hottest skill sets out there.”
And employers don’t appear to be looking for certifications as much as
they’re searching for on-the-job experience.
”What’s selling is experience,” says Melland. ”Our customers are
really looking for someone who has been there and done that. They want
to hire that developer who just did the six-month Linux conversion
rather than hiring someone who might have just been trained in Linux.
They want the systems administrator who can run those systems that have
Of those Linux job listings, 70 percent are for developers and 20 to 25
percent are for systems administrators. The rest call for a mix of skill
sets, ranging from IT managers to business analysts.
As the economy slowly improves, companies are beginning to look at
converting older systems to Linux or building the new systems completely
”There are a lot of Fortune 1,000 companies out there that are doing
Linux conversions, so there is a bit of a rush for Linux skill sets,”
explains Melland. ”We’ll see strong demand and fast growth in Linux for
the next couple of years and at that point it will fall back to be
similar to other demands.”
And as the number of Linux-related jobs grow, so do the accompanying
The average salary for a Linux-related IT position is listed as $67,000.
That’s 6 percent higher than salaries in similar IT fields. Contractors
and consultants working with Linux can expect to pull in about $87,000
as an average salary.
Steady IT Job Growth
But it’s the steady overall job growth that Melland focuses on.
”The IT job market as a whole has improved remarkably over the last 12
months,” he says. ”It’s really very good news for a lot of tech
professionals… We have twice as many opportunities out there and
they’re good opportunities. A year ago, there were slightly more
part-time positions and it’s shifting to full-time now.”