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

Hiring managers are paying top dollar for open source smarts, but struggle to find IT workers with sufficient skills

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.

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.

Linux professionals can attest to the demand for their talent: 75 percent of those surveyed said they've received at least one call from a recruiter in the past six months. What's more, 56 percent said it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to find a new job. One-third of respondents said they plan to change employers this year, with higher salary being the No. 1 incentive, followed by a better work-life balance, and a flexible work schedule or telecommuting.

This story, "Linux-savvy IT pros are in high demand, low supply," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform