Demand for Open Source Skills Skyrockets

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Aug 17, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends, Job Search Tips, IT, Candidate

Employers trying to hire for open source talent are plagued by a lack of candidates who are sufficiently trained, according to the Linux Foundation. It's released the sixth annual look at career opportunities in open source software. This leaves ample opportunity for those interested in this area to seek training that will help them stand out to employers. The report conveniently shows where the most opportunities for open source jobs are located. It also identifies some factors that tend to motivate professionals that work in this field or who might be happy about switching to this field.

Employers use this information to attract and keep qualified candidates. This year, the report takes the pulse of 1,800 open source managers around the globe, and it has revealed an increasing need for talent familiar with open source coding. Unfortunately for employers, this shortfall tends to line up with highly competitive markets, paired with tight labor supplies.

In fact, about 90 percent of managers looking to hire in the industry say they have difficulties finding qualified talent. These managers stated that they would likely hire more workers to fill open source roles than other jobs in the six months following the survey.

They expected to hire more professionals for open source positions than for other roles in the next six months. Developers filled the most open source jobs, according to the Linux survey. DevOps engineers, as well as systems administrators, rounded out the majority of hires in this field. Here are the most in-demand skillsets:

  • Big data
  • Application development 
  • Open source cloud 
  • DevOps and security

Report Highlights

The report revealed that open source professionals enjoy more career opportunities. All tech development uses some kind of open source resource as a building block these days. Those connected and knowledgeable, and who have the latest skills, can expect great careers. The gap between many open jobs and qualified applicants is increasing, due to a drive to finish products fast and get them on the market. 

Other Findings

Sixty-seven percent of hiring managers admitted that hiring open source veterans would become a priority in the next year.  Sixty percent believe their companies need full-time hires to fill these positions. This means that the need for these workers isn't likely to end anytime soon. 

A lot of companies are willing to pay for existing employees to get certifications in open source environments. In fact, forty-seven percent said they would foot the bill. Here is a breakout of the most common positions:

  • Developer (73 percent)
  • DevOps engineer (60 percent)
  • Systems administrator (53 percent)

If you want to pursue the most in-demand open source skills, think about taking classes or certification courses in: 

  • Application development
  • Big data
  • DevOps
  • Cloud
  • Security

Bright Jobs Forecast

Across the full spectrum of open source jobs, candidates have a sunny outlook. There's a strong demand for many different positions. At the same time, the shortage of workers with the necessary qualifications gives qualified job seekers a huge advantage. Candidates can often negotiate higher salaries and better benefits packages that motivated employers will gladly provide.

In a similar mode, skilled workers in DevOps, application development, cloud, and big data are in increasingly high demand. Fortunately, these skill sets are not a far reach for many IT professionals.

Industries report a growing need for anyone familiar with open source software. Along with this trend, corporations are realizing that open source tools are much cheaper and faster than ever before.

When a company moves to an open source model, the on-ramp doesn't follow a traditional trend. There's no manufacturer of proprietary software to help work through the kinks encountered whenever you adopt a new tool. However, determined companies can still build a product for sale using open source technology.

Playing Catch-Up

Open source software is an important force when it comes to data centers. It has supplanted other enterprise environments. You could say the Linux revolution is done, and open source models are the big winners.

The gap in skills affects a firm's in-house IT department because they may be tasked with developing open source solutions. It's not easy catching up in a still emerging field.

Employers need to invest in training programs that bring existing staff up to speed. However, this has to be done intelligently, or the employees will just take the open source training and find a higher paying position elsewhere.

Closing the Gap

When planning job prep programs, training coordinators have to make sure that those who complete the course go on to finish their certifications. There should also be clear career pathing to ensure trained employees keep up with the most useful programming languages for a particular industry.

The Linux Foundation has said it's committed to helping employers develop roadmaps and career pathing for these brave individuals. This means that they will continue to offer training and certification, and this is good news to employers who want to turn to a trusted name in open source resources. 

Ready to Share Your Skills?

If you are looking for an open source position, contact ICS. We have plenty of roles open for skilled professionals looking to make an impact on a company. Click below to start building out your open source career!

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