Study: Qualified Open-Source Talent is In Short Supply

Open-source talent is in high demand, but overwhelming numbers of recruiting managers worldwide (92%) report difficulty finding sufficient specialists with open-source skills and certifications, according to the annual ‘2021 Open Source Jobs Report’ conducted by The Linux Foundation and learning platform provider edX. Half of the firms say they will accelerate their open-source recruiting, which will further widen the skill gap.

Photo Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation
“For those looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps, Linux, and security hold the most promising opportunities.,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation.

After the epidemic, hiring is on the rise as companies want to continue their digital transformation efforts. According to the global survey, 50% of companies want to recruit more people this year. Many managers have difficulties locating enough qualified candidates, and they often struggle to hang on to their current employees in the face of strong competition.

Furthermore, the growing use of open-source software is widening the market’s skills gap. Among the most sought-after talents, 46 percent of recruiting managers cite cloud native application development and operations.

“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,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation. “For those looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps, Linux, and security hold the most promising opportunities.”

The Rise of DevOps

The ninth annual Open Source Jobs 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. Other key findings from the 2021 Open Source Jobs Report include:

  • Cloud’s rise – For the first time in the history of this survey, recruiting managers are most interested in cloud and container technology capabilities.
  • DevOps becomes the standard method for developing software – Virtually all open-source professionals (88%) report using DevOps practices in their work, a 50% increase from three years ago.
  • Demand for certified talent spikes – A high number of managers are ready to pay for staff to get certificates, putting qualified personnel at the top of their priority list (88%).
  • Discrimination is a growing concern in the community – 18% of open-source employees in 2021 claimed they had been discriminated against or made to feel unwanted in the community. This is an increase of 1,250 percent in only the previous three years.
  • Training is increasingly helping close skills gaps – 92% of managers say their employees are making more requests for training opportunities. Employers also indicate that they prioritize investments in training to overcome skills gaps, with 58 percent employing this strategy; by comparison, 29 percent bring in external consultants to close their skill gaps.

“This year’s report makes it clear that COVID-19 has only exacerbated skills gaps and hiring needs that were bubbling to the surface pre-pandemic, especially in the high technology sector,” said Johannes Heinlein, Chief Commercial Officer and SVP of Strategic Partnerships at edX. “It’s promising to see in our findings that employers are meeting these needs by increasing training and learning opportunities. We need to empower organizations to invest in this type of training in order to meet the tech talent demands of today, and tomorrow.”

This year’s study conducted by The Linux Foundation analyzes data from over 200 hiring managers at companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies throughout the world, as well as answers from over 750 open-source experts globally.

The full Open Source Jobs Report for 2021 may be downloaded for free from this page.