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Open source skills in hot demand despite economic uncertainty

27 Oct 2020

DevOps and open source skills are in hot demand in 2020 as organisations ramp up talent recruitment and provide more training opportunities for existing staff.

The Linux Foundation & edX’s 2020 Open Source Jobs Report found that an overwhelming majority (93%) of hiring managers are finding it difficult to recruit open source talent - a tough barrier considering 63% of firms either support open source projects with code or other resources.

"2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, but it's encouraging to see that open source continues to provide abundant opportunities," comments Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin. 

DevOps also plays a crucial role within organisations, with 65% looking to hire DevOps talent, up from 59% in 2018.

Those organisations acknowledge the difficulties in finding new talent, with recruitment slowing down due to the pandemic and economic uncertainty, though 37% of employers are confident they will hire more skilled IT professionals in the next six months.

Further, 74% of employers are now offering to pay for employee certifications - a marked increase from just 55% in 2018 and just 34% in 2016. 

These certifications are important - 80% of employers say they provide online training courses that help employees to learn open source software. Additionally, 52% of hiring managers are more likely to hire a person who is certified.

Hiring managers are most interested in staff who understand open cloud technologies - 70% of hiring managers are more likely to hire a professional with open cloud skills - a four percent increase over 2018 figures.

"The Linux Foundation and our members will continue to work to provide technological advancements that benefit everyone while striving to make open source educational opportunities more accessible."

The report examines trends in open source careers, which skills are most in-demand, the motivation for open source professionals, and how employers attract and retain qualified talent.

“As a fellow open source organisation, edX knows how important these skills are to advancing innovative technology projects around the world," says edX president and co-CEO Adam Medros. 

“We hope that the information in this report gives open source professionals a clear picture of the industry to inform their decisions around joining and creating teams, and informs organisations' decisions around training and investing in their workers,” Medros concludes.

The report is based on responses from 175 hiring managers and 900 open source professionals from businesses across the world.