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Linux Foundation and edX Report Reveals 50% of Companies Accelerated Hiring as Talent Shortage Persists

September 20, 2021Announcements

The ninth annual Open Source Jobs Report examines trends in open source hiring, retention, and training

SAN FRANCISCO – September 20, 2021The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and edX, the trusted platform for learning, have released the 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, examining the demand for open source talent and trends among open source professionals.

Hiring is rebounding in the wake of the pandemic, as organizations look to continue their digital transformation activities. This is evidenced by 50% of employers surveyed who stated they are increasing hires this year. There are significant challenges though, with 92% of managers reporting difficulty finding enough talent, as they also struggle to hold onto existing talent in the face of fierce competition. Furthermore, the rapid adoption of open source software is widening the skills gap in the market. This is especially true for cloud native application development and operations skills, topping the list of 46% of hiring managers.

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

“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.”

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. Key findings from the 2021 Open Source Jobs Report include:

  • Qualified open source talent is still in short supply: Overwhelming numbers of hiring managers (92%) report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open source skills. Half of companies are accelerating open source hiring, further exacerbating the talent gap. 
  • Cloud’s rise: Cloud and container technology skills are most in demand by hiring managers, surpassing Linux for the first time in the history of this report, with 46% of hiring managers seeking cloud talent.
  • Discrimination is a growing concern in the community: The number of open source professionals reporting they have been discriminated against or made to feel unwelcome in the community increased to 18% in 2021 – representing a 125% increase over the past three years.
  • 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: Managers are prioritizing hires of certified talent (88%), with a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications. 
  • Training is increasingly helping close skills gaps: Large numbers of professionals are demanding more training opportunities from their employers, demonstrated by 92% of managers reporting an increase in requests. Employers also report that they prioritize training investments to close skills gaps, with 58% using this tactic; by comparison, 29% bring in external consultants to close their skill gaps.

This year’s report features analysis of data from more than 200 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe, as well as responses from more than 750 open source professionals worldwide.

The full 2021 Open Source Jobs Report is available to download here for free.

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure, including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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