About 77  per cent of hiring managers say finding Linux talent is a priority this year,  up from 70 per cent last year, and there’s “explosive demand” around the world for people with Linux skills, according to a recent report.

A survey sponsored by the Linux Foundation and Dice.com, an IT jobs Web site, found hiring managers at tech-powered companies are focusing more attention on Linux talent, with the result that those who can work with the open source operating system will earn stronger-than-average salary increases.

Other findings include:

  • More than nine in 10 hiring managers plan to hire a Linux professional in the next six months;

• Hiring managers are increasing the number of Linux professionals they are searching for. Forty six percent of hiring managers are beefing up their plans for recruiting Linux talent over the next six months, a three-point increase over last year;

• Knowing Linux advances careers. Eighty-six percent of Linux professionals report that knowing Linux has given them more career opportunities, and 64 per cent say they chose to work with Linux because of its pervasiveness.

More than 1,100 hiring managers and staffing agencies from North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico, Central America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand replied to the survey, which was conducted last November and December. Respondents needed to have hired at least one Linux professional last year or have planned to hire one in 2014.

Separately, more than 4,000 Linux professionals responded to a survey. Half of the respondents said their plans reflected company growth and a resulting need for more Linux talent and experience, while 35 per cent cited an increasing use of Linux throughout the enterprise.

In addition, the number of hiring managers who suggest Linux is becoming more core to their business jumped 10 points since last year’s report, the study said.

According to the survey, the areas of expertise that hiring managers are most aggressively seeking include systems administration (58 per cent), Linux application development (45 per cent) and systems architecture/engineering (45 per cent).

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