Open source talent is in seriously high demand

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Small and medium businesses (SMBs) looking to boost digital transformation (opens in new tab) initiatives are fueling an ever increasing demand for skilled open source (opens in new tab) workforce, according to a new survey.

The 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, compiled jointly by the Linux Foundation (opens in new tab), and learning platform edX (opens in new tab), gives a nice overview of the demand for open source talent and emerging trends among open source professionals.

The ninth annual edition of the report notes that cloud (opens in new tab) and container (opens in new tab) technology skills are most in demand by hiring managers, surpassing Linux (opens in new tab) for the first time in the history of the report, with 46% of hiring managers on the lookout for cloud skills.

“Open source talent is in high demand, encouraging the most experienced pros to look for new opportunities while hiring managers battle it out for the most desirable candidates. For those looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps (opens in new tab), Linux, and security hold the most promising opportunities,” said (opens in new tab) Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin.

Skills gap

The report surveyed more than 200 hiring managers from across SMBs, large corporations, government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe. It then combined them with responses from more than 750 open source professionals to get a pulse of the trends.

Surprisingly, even though 50% of the surveyed employers are increasing hires this year. an overwhelming number of hiring managers (92%) note that sufficient talent with open source skills is difficult to come by.

To close the skill gap, employers are prioritizing training investments, with an overwhelming number of managers (88%) prioritizing hires of certified talent, and a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications. 

One worrying increase though is in the number of open source professionals who report they have been discriminated against (18%). The jump represents a 125% increase over the past three years, which isn’t flattering for the community. 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.