No one disputes that that tech jobs are fueling the economy in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. President said in his recent State of the Union address that there are twice as many openings in the science and technology sector as there are people to fill them. But where exactly are these jobs? And, who exactly is landing them?
Today, we have new data that helps us understand where are the tech jobs and that tells us we need more trained people in the most profitable and rewarding areas of tech.
The first-ever Linux Jobs Report  released today surfaces two of the most lucrative areas in the tech jobs market - Linux development and Linux systems administration. Eighty-one percent of recruiters surveyed for the report say hiring Linux talent is a priority in the year ahead. And, 63% percent will hire Linux talent over candidates with other skill areas.
A NYU Professor recently said "code is the literacy of the future" (CNN: Computer Geeks King in Job Hunt ). We agree. And, we believe that Linux is an important currency in that future. It powers the Internet. It runs Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and millions of other Internet technology companies. It runs the world's supercomputers, data centers, smartphones, financial institutions and stock exchanges, and the list goes on. It's no surprise that with its widespread ubiquity that today there is also growing demand for talent to support it. In fact, when the Linux Jobs Report survey respondents were asked why hiring Linux talent was a priority in the year ahead, most reported their companies are growing, increasing their use of Linux and requiring in-house expertise to support the OS.
But the Linux Jobs Report also finds a wrinkle in an otherwise positive story: Linux and open source developers can be hard to find. Eight-five percent of those surveyed say that finding Linux talent is really difficult.
Google, Facebook, Amazon, Qualcomm, IBM, Intel and hundreds of other companies who rely on Linux to support their businesses, especially their highly-valued data centers and embedded systems, are paying big bucks to find and retain Linux talent. The Linux Jobs Report shows that nearly 1/3 of the companies surveyed are giving pay increases to these professionals that are above the industry norm. Dice's 2012 Salary Report backs this up, showing that Linux professionals have seen salaries go up by 5% over the last few years, while tech professionals overall have seen just a 2% increase. The 15% bump in bonus payouts to Linux professionals just solidifies the point.
It's become glaringly obvious that students and mid-level career professionals who can confidently write Linux code can also write their own ticket to long-term job security. It’s a really good time to know Linux.
Getting involved in open source projects and understanding the open development model are more important than ever, and the good news is that the “University of Open Source” is open to everyone. There are no entrance exams, no admissions counselors, and no student loans; all you need is a connection to the Internet. And, it doesn't matter where you live or what your local economy is dictating. In a world that is flat,  Linux and open source software development is a global opportunity for job seekers working anywhere, any time.
Looking for a place to start? Check out Jon Corbet’s guide on participating in the Linux kernel community . We also invite you to check out our Linux training  courses, which are taught by leaders from the Linux and Linux kernel communities.
Get all the results from the Linux Jobs Survey and Report by downloading it here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/2012-linux-jobs-report