The Linux Foundation’s new certification program, announced last month, represents its latest push to boost IT workers’ job prospects and help employers find the right talent.
It and other training firms have been working to expand the Linux talent pool – the foundation this summer paired with Harvard and MIT to offer a free online course through edX — yet Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation executive director told GeekWire those efforts aren’t working quickly enough to meet demand. And analysts agree.
“Linux skills are showing a lot of growth in value, which you wouldn’t expect because it’s been around for a long time,” said David Foote, CEO of analyst firm Foote Partners. “But Linux is everywhere these days.”
Seventy-seven percent of hiring managers in a Linux Foundation/Dice poll ranked hiring Linux talent among their priorities for 2014, up from 70 percent a year ago.
Dice reports that on any given day, it has more than 11,000 job postings for Linux talent on its site. They cover an array of companies and industries including CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research; the University of Chicago; Match.com; UnitedHealth Group; the National Association of Realtors, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Home Depot.
Growth for Linux
Foote Partners predicts continued strong growth in pay premiums for Linux skills as a non-certified skill – meaning employers aren’t necessarily looking for a specific vendor certification.
So if employers are willing to pay extra for Linux skills without a certification, that begs the question: Why be certified?
IT pros consider certification an investment in their career, with the potential to help them land jobs, earn more money and develop more career options. But they want to know that the time and money they put into certification are good investments.