Employers will increase hiring of IT professionals with open source skills

Nearly half of organizations surveyed by the Linux Foundation and edX plan to increase their open source recruitment over the next six months.

Image: Nuthawut/Adobe Stock

IT professionals adept at working with open source technology will find good job prospects. In a report released Wednesday, the Linux Foundation and online course provider edX found that employers are struggling to find people skilled in open source, leading them not only to increase hiring in this field, but also to pay existing employees to obtain open source certifications.

For their 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report: Essential Skills, Hiring Trends and Trainingthe Linux Foundation and edX surveyed more than 1,900 open source professionals as well as people responsible for filling open source positions.

SEE: 40+ open source and Linux terms you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

Of those surveyed, 93% said they had difficulty finding qualified people with open source skills. As a result, nearly half of employers plan to increase hiring of open source professionals over the next six months. On the other hand, almost three-quarters of open source professionals surveyed revealed that they would be able to find a new job quite easily if they decided to leave their current position.

Employers are trying different tactics to retain open source professionals, including higher salaries and bigger bonuses. More than 65% of open source professionals surveyed said that a higher salary would prevent them from leaving their current job. In the past, lifestyle benefits were also used to try to retain qualified employees. But with the shift to remote and hybrid working, financial incentives are a bigger draw.

Paying for certifications is another option for organizations looking to retain skilled workers. Some 90% of employers would pay for employees to earn certifications, while 81% of professionals plan to add certifications this year. Among employers, 69% said they would be more likely to hire an open source professional with a certification, revealing that previous experience is less critical as long as someone proves they have the skills to do the job.

With open source projects subject to strict deadlines, 43% of recruiters train internal collaborators. But 41% turn to external consultants, even if it is a more expensive option. Only 16% of respondents said they would delay a project due to lack of skills, showing that such projects are prioritized even if they require costly outside help.

Among the open source skills desired in an employee, cloud and container technology is the most in demand this year, with 29% of employers looking to hire people with these talents. This demand matches the 68% of companies who said their cloud usage had increased over the past year. Linux skills are also needed among open source professionals since Linux enables a lot of cloud computing.

Of course, cybersecurity is also always in demand. Security skills are the fourth area sought after by open source professionals, behind cloud, Linux and DevOps. Of the professionals surveyed, 77% said they would benefit from additional cybersecurity training, showing that more work is needed to effectively protect an organization’s assets.