Linux job market booms even as the server market disappears

Ngoc Huynh

Linux skills are in hot demand, even as Linux server revenue evaporates into “Other.”

According to a new Dice report, the Linux job market remains sizzling hot. Nearly every single hiring manager surveyed (97%) expects to hire more Linux talent relative to other skills areas in the next six months.

In fact, Linux jobs growth outpaces Linux server growth.

While IDC pegs Linux server market share at 28.5% in early 2014, a climb of 4.5% over the previous year, market share doesn’t tell the whole story behind Linux jobs growth. To understand the continued rise in demand for Linux professionals, it’s important to look beyond revenue-based market share.

Demand, meet supply

According to the joint survey conducted by Dice and the Linux Foundation, virtually everyone wants to hire Linux professionals. And not just a smattering of hires here and there: 50% of those surveyed indicate that they expect to hire even more Linux pros in 2015 than they did in 2014.

(The last time the Linux Foundation released numbers, 77% of hiring managers wanted to find Linux talent in 2014, up from 70% in 2013.)

Demand has reached a fever pitch, making it hard to find and retain qualified people. As the report notes:

Hiring managers are still struggling to find professionals with Linux skills, with 88% reporting that it’s “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to find these candidates.
70% of hiring managers say their companies have increased incentives to retain Linux talent, with 37% offering more flexible work hours and telecommuting, and 36% increasing salaries for Linux pros more than in other parts of the company.

Small wonder, then, that 55% of Linux professionals believe it will be “very easy” or “fairly easy” to score a new job in 2015.

All of this demand for Linux talent is set against the backdrop of continued battles between Microsoft Windows and Linux for market share. Here, Microsoft continues to dominate, claiming 45.7% of factory revenue in early 2014 by IDC estimates. Paid Linux servers, as mentioned, accounted for 28.5% of the total market.

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