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The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report

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Abstract

According to 93% of the hiring managers surveyed, open source talent is increasingly difficult to find. As a result, companies are now turning towards training their staff in new cloud automation, orchestration, and developer productivity tools to close that gap as much as possible – and where they cannot train their staff or find adequate new hires, they’re hiring consultants to avoid delaying important projects.

This year the Linux Foundation once again teamed up with edX to produce the 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report to shed light on these changes and challenges. This year’s study, which is the most comprehensive yet, includes survey findings and analysis generated from more than 1,900 open source professionals, in addition to 500 individuals with responsibility for hiring such professionals.

In addition to our findings on employee retention, the report contains practical information on the state of open source talent that employers may use to guide their hiring, training, and diversity awareness efforts. It also provides IT professionals with clear, unbiased insights on which skills are most marketable.

Key Findings

There remains a shortage of qualified open source talent: The vast majority of employers (93%) report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open source skills. This trend is not going away with nearly half (46%) of employers planning to increase their open source hiring in the next six months, and 73% of open source professionals stating it would be easy to find a new role should they choose to move on.

Compensation has become a greater differentiating factor: Financial incentives including salary and bonuses are the most common means of keeping talent, with two-in-three open source professionals saying a higher salary would deter them from leaving a job. With flex time and remote work becoming the industry standard, lifestyle benefits are becoming less of a consideration, making financial incentives a bigger differentiator.

Certifications hit new levels of importance: An overwhelming number of employers (90%) stated that they will pay for employees to obtain certifications, and 81% of professionals plan to add certifications this year, demonstrating the weight these credentials hold. The 69% of employers who are more likely to hire an open source professional with a certification also reinforces that in light of talent shortages, prior experience is becoming less of a requirement as long as someone can demonstrate they possess the skills to do the job.

Cloud’s continued dominance: Cloud and container technology skills remain the most in demand this year, with 69% of employers seeking hires with these skills, and 71% of open source professionals agreeing these skills are in high demand. This is unsurprising with 68% of companies surveyed reporting they grew their use of cloud in the past year. Linux skills remain in high demand as well (61% of hiring managers) which is unsurprising considering how much Linux underpins cloud computing.

Cybersecurity concerns are mounting: Cybersecurity skills have the fourth biggest impact on hiring decisions, reported by 40% of employers, trailing only cloud, Linux and DevOps. Amongst professionals, 77% state they would benefit from additional cybersecurity training, demonstrating that although the importance of security is being recognized more, there is work to be done to truly secure technology deployments.

Companies are willing to spend more to avoid delaying projects: The most common way to close skills gaps currently according to hiring managers is training (43%), followed by 41% who say they hire consultants to fill these gaps, an expensive alternative and a significant increase from the 29% reporting this last year. This aligns with the only 16% who are willing to delay projects, demonstrating digital transformation activities are being prioritized even if they require costly consultants.

Authors

  • Linux Foundation Research Team
  • Foreword By Clyde Seepersad, SVP & General Manager, Training & Certification, The Linux Foundation

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