Linux Skills Are In High Demand

The Linux Foundation and conducted a joint research study to understand the hiring outlook for Linux professionals - and it's quite rosy.

Of the 2,000 survey respondents, more than 8 in 10 (81 percent) said that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012, and more than half of the firms surveyed said that they are increasing Linux hires relative to jobs created in other skill areas.

The problem is that 85 percent of respondents indicated that finding Linux talent is "somewhat" to "very" difficult, which makes those skilled in Linux very sought-after talent in 2012.

The best part will likely be the pay. While pay increases for tech professionals averaged just 2 percent in 2011, Linux professionals have seen 5-percent increases year-over-year and a 15-percent jump in bonus payouts, according to the recent Dice Salary Survey.

To start 2012, according to the report, hiring managers are pursuing Linux developers (67 percent) and systems administrators (55 percent) most often to fill open positions, although IT managers (20 percent) and outside consultants (15 percent) are also in demand.

The survey also revealed that companies are most aggressively targeting the mid-level professional, with 75 percent of respondents looking for Linux professionals with three to five years of experience.