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Posted: 8/20/2004 12:02:39 AM EST
Linux Skills in High Demand as IT Jobs Pick Up
By Sharon Gaudin
Linux skills are a hot commodity today.

More employers are looking to hire people with Linux experience and skills than another skill sets, according to numbers from Dice.com, a major job board for technical professionals.

Scot Melland, CEO and president of Dice, reports that while IT job listings on his site have doubled in the past 12 months, job listings calling for Linux skills have gone up 190 percent. At this time last year, Dice was listing about 25,000 jobs. Today, there are more than 50,000 jobs listed. And a year ago, there were 860 to 900 Linux-related jobs listed, while there are 2,500 listed now.

''The demand for Linux skills is absolutely growing and it's growing faster than the overall demand for tech professionals,'' says Melland. ''It's definitely one of the hottest skill sets out there.''

And employers don't appear to be looking for certifications as much as they're searching for on-the-job experience.

''What's selling is experience,'' says Melland. ''Our customers are really looking for someone who has been there and done that. They want to hire that developer who just did the six-month Linux conversion rather than hiring someone who might have just been trained in Linux. They want the systems administrator who can run those systems that have been converted.''

Of those Linux job listings, 70 percent are for developers and 20 to 25 percent are for systems administrators. The rest call for a mix of skill sets, ranging from IT managers to business analysts.

As the economy slowly improves, companies are beginning to look at converting older systems to Linux or building the new systems completely from scratch.

''There are a lot of Fortune 1,000 companies out there that are doing Linux conversions, so there is a bit of a rush for Linux skill sets,'' explains Melland. ''We'll see strong demand and fast growth in Linux for the next couple of years and at that point it will fall back to be similar to other demands.''

And as the number of Linux-related jobs grow, so do the accompanying salaries.

The average salary for a Linux-related IT position is listed as $67,000. That's 6 percent higher than salaries in similar IT fields. Contractors and consultants working with Linux can expect to pull in about $87,000 as an average salary.

Steady IT Job Growth

But it's the steady overall job growth that Melland focuses on.

''The IT job market as a whole has improved remarkably over the last 12 months,'' he says. ''It's really very good news for a lot of tech professionals... We have twice as many opportunities out there and they're good opportunities. A year ago, there were slightly more part-time positions and it's shifting to full-time now.''
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 12:20:20 AM EST
You know, I see stuff like this pretty often. And contrary to what Kerry and many of the left argue, there isn't a job problem. What we have is a "people trained in the wrong skills" problem. People graduating high school are pushed into college to study many traditional subjects. Well today, that often isn't where the job market is. Today, the jobs (and good paying ones at that) are in techical fields and services! Yet our liberal society seems to shun those who work with their hands. But the simple truth is, there are all sorts of jobs out there if our populace had the training to qualify for them. I know people who are begging for carpenters, welders, equipment operators, various types of technicians, etc. But there are fewer and fewer people trained in those fields. Yet that where most of today's best paying (and most needed) jobs are. Yet many keep turning a blind eye to technical school, dismissing those as a place for dummies who can't cut it as book worms. Sigh. Anyway, back to the topic, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 12:38:21 AM EST
No hijack.

I have a friend who runs his own iron working construction / contracting company.
He has a hard time keeping guys, there are so many jobs that most of the journeyman union guys cherry pick the jobs.
Even a good apprentice can call his own shots.
He is offering more money if they will stay for longer than 6 months.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 1:05:36 AM EST
Unix is good to know.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 2:03:07 AM EST
I'm a code monkey, and I have a friend who busily trying to persuade her son that he wants to be a plumber, cos at the moment, the skills shortage means they can name their own rates.

For the yonug'ins round here, that means keep an eye out on what's in demand now, and wwhat will be in demand when you finish your edjamacation, there's money to be made :)

/PHil
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 3:28:54 AM EST
Linux to a lot of people is nothing more than a buzzword. Most managers have no clue what it is or what it can do, and they only want people with "linux skills" because they read something about it in a magazine somewhere.

There are some people who genuinely need linux skills. But a lot of it is pure horsecrap.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 3:31:01 AM EST
Yep, employers want people with Linux skills.. and MCSE, and CCNA, and PeopleSoft.. and they'll pay you eight whole bucks an hour.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 3:33:22 AM EST
I've been running Linux either at home or at jobs for 10 years now, and I too have seen a lot of jobs with linux in them.

But my favorite posting was many years ago when Java had first come out, and the position was asking for 5 years of Java experience. A lot of those HR people/staff managers have no clue what they're asking for.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 3:46:39 AM EST
Funny how things that real techies know works become buzzwords years down the road. I have been a UNIX engineer for 7 years now and management is just now catching on. We (IT guys) were bringing linux in the back door for edge services (print servers, dns, mail) long before gaining approval from management. It worked and it was free. I do hate the fact that turnover (i.e. continuous patch support) is so fast in the Linux world from the likes of Suse and Redhat unless you purchase the Enterprise Server product. For the price they are charging for it, I'd rather have a commercial UNIX such as Solaris or AIX.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:02:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By hunt127588:
Funny how things that real techies know works become buzzwords years down the road. I have been a UNIX engineer for 7 years now and management is just now catching on. We (IT guys) were bringing linux in the back door for edge services (print servers, dns, mail) long before gaining approval from management. It worked and it was free. I do hate the fact that turnover (i.e. continuous patch support) is so fast in the Linux world from the likes of Suse and Redhat unless you purchase the Enterprise Server product. For the price they are charging for it, I'd rather have a commercial UNIX such as Solaris or AIX.



OpenBSD. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn close.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:16:57 AM EST
I started off on linux about 7 years ago and have 5+ years work experience with it. I usually run debian and have been working on the details of openbsd. I also know a little solaris and irix. the fact is, thats not even my main feild of study. I'm a computer engineer and all the forementioned stuff is self taught side work. hopefully this will all help me drag in a hefty paycheck :)

-foxxz
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