The job prospects for Linux professionals are better than ever according to the latest Dice.com and Linux Foundation Jobs Report released last week. Seventy-seven percent of hiring managers are prioritizing Linux jobs above other openings, and nine in 10 plan to hire Linux pros in the next six months.
But Linux professionals not only have great jobs -- they have great careers, says Dice President Shravan Goli. What makes a Linux career among the best in tech? In this Q&A, Goli provides more context on Linux hiring in the broader job market and gives an inside perspective on Linux careers including the number of Linux openings listed on Dice every day; hot skills for Linux professionals; top job titles for Linux pros; and more.
For more highlights of the Linux Jobs Report, click through the slideshow, below.
Linux.com: It's good to be in tech, but *great* to be a Linux pro. What makes Linux careers stand out from the rest?
Shravan Goli: In technology, there is a big difference between a position and a career. Linux professionals can take solace in the fact that their skills lend themselves to great long term career prospects, no matter what positions they may hold today.
When we at Dice assess career opportunities for technology professionals, we look at three major factors: hiring demand, compensation and types of projects. Linux skills have been in demand, consistently, for years. When it comes to compensation, Linux professionals’ salaries are rising faster than the overall market. Finally, the types of projects employers are initiating with the Linux operating system reads like a ‘who’s who’ of hot technologies. These projects include cloud services, mobile development and content management, among others.
In other words, the career stars are lining up for Linux professionals.
Linux.com: Wow - 9 in 10 hiring managers plan to hire for Linux skills in the next six months. How does that compare to other areas of tech? Are all areas of tech in that much demand?
Goli: Technology hiring is robust. More than seven in ten hiring managers plan to increase their technology-related hiring in the first six months of 2014, according to our latest technology hiring survey . We are observing double digit growth in hiring demand on Dice in a number of areas, including big data skills, information security skills and cloud computing skills.
When it comes to Linux skills, hiring is robust and a priority. 46 percent of hiring managers suggest Linux skills are mission critical for the year ahead. On Dice, employers advertise more than 11,000 Linux related positions on any given day. At that level of demand, Linux professionals can truly define their own career roadmaps.
Linux.com: Eighty-six percent of Linux pros say knowing Linux has advanced their careers. What other skills have this much advantage? Are there any that, combined with Linux, make for an especially in-demand skillset?
Goli: Linux professionals are generally quite happy with their choice of careers. They can thank their college guidance counselors. However, no technology professional can sit on their laurels. We all need to be moving forward. The best way to move forward is to understand the skill clusters around your core expertise and take steps to master your skill cluster over time. For Linux professionals, some of the skills that will be helpful to train on include Hadoop skills for mobile development and Puppet skills for configuration management. These types of combined skill sets act as bridges to the projects that change consumer experiences and add to the bottom line for enterprises.
Linux.com: How much does the overall improvement in the economy, and the tech sector in particular, have to do with increased demand for Linux skills?
Goli: Half of hiring managers suggest they are beefing up the number of Linux professionals they are looking for because of improved growth prospects for their companies. The economic and business environment is certainly a primary factor driving the increased demand for Linux professionals. Another important factor driving growth in Linux demand is the increasing pervasiveness of Linux throughout companies. Business leaders are getting their hands around how to unleash the full value of Linux.
Linux.com: Is there a particular job title for Linux pros that's trending right now?
Goli: Job titles for Linux professionals often reflect the need that companies have to connect the dots between Linux platforms. Some of the Linux related titles to look for include references to cloud solutions and systems engineering. Here are some examples of the types of positions that companies have developed to take advantage of Linux opportunities:
In all, the future is bright for Linux professionals. To take advantage of this environment, Linux professionals just need to connect the dots between their current skills and the big data, cloud and mobile trends that hiring managers are focused on.
Check out other hot Linux jobs  on Dice.com.
Shravan Goli is the President of Dice, a leading career site that brings together technology professionals and tech-powered companies. An internet and media veteran, Mr. Goli is responsible for executing the growth strategy for Dice.com, ClearanceJobs and the Slashdot Media brands. Before joining Dice, Mr. Goli served as Chief Executive Officer of Dictionary.com. He has also served as GM for Yahoo! Video and as Head of Products for Yahoo! Finance. Mr. Goli holds an M.B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.