Linux turned 30 last year, which would be considered ancient by most software standards, but demand for Linux skills in the market remains incredibly high. This may seem counterintuitive, but when you factor in just how much of today’s modern technology runs Linux at its core, a logical picture begins to emerge.
Is Linux Really in Demand?
The short answer is yes! The 9th Annual Open Source Jobs Report from Linux Foundation Research and edX found Linux skills were the second most in demand, preceded only by cloud skills. This was in fact the first time in the nine iterations of this report that Linux was not the most sought after skill, which might seem to imply that it is becoming less important.
However, when you consider that the overwhelming majority of AWS, GCP and even Azure instances are running Linux, it becomes clear that while cloud is today’s hot topic, you can’t truly understand the underpinnings of cloud technology without knowing Linux. Anyone who works in cloud development or architecture can tell you that they need to go into the Linux command line often, so understanding how it works is essential.
The Open Source Jobs Report also found that 88% of technology professionals are using DevOps practices. While DevOps is a set of principles and practices and therefore does not explicitly require Linux knowledge, the whole point of using DevOps is to build and run things like applications which require an operating system, and Linux is the most popular OS out there for enterprise applications.
There are countless more examples in how technologies like networking, embedded systems, IoT, AI, mobile phones, automobiles, and more rely on Linux, but the important thing to remember is if you hope to build a career in modern technology, you are going to need to possess some knowledge of Linux. So yes, it really is in high demand.
What Kind of Jobs Can I Pursue with Linux Training?
This depends on the direction you want to pursue after you learn Linux. The traditional path would be to move into system administration, which remains very valuable. System administrators, or SysAdmins, manage virtually every aspect of technology hardware and software an organization may be running. A SysAdmin may help build out new systems, maintain current ones, manage backups, oversee application installations and updates, handle file storage, and much more.
With the prevalence of Linux across so many technology areas though, you can take your Linux knowledge and apply it to roles like DevOps engineer, cloud architect, network administrator, security engineer, backend developer, frontend developer, data scientist, and much more. The possibilities are virtually endless; our IT Career Roadmap provides just some possible career paths you can pursue.
How Can I Get Started Learning Linux?
The primary goal for Linux Foundation Training & Certification is to make quality open source technology training and certification opportunities accessible to anyone who wants to gain skills in this area. In pursuit of this, we offer a variety of completely free online training courses including Introduction to Linux, which has been taken by over a million individuals and was recently also released in Spanish. These free courses are a great way to gain basic knowledge, and depending on the specific job role, may even provide enough training in Linux skills to be sufficient.
For those needing to learn intermediate and advanced Linux skills, we offer a wide ranging catalog of options, including both self-paced online courses and live instructor-led ones. Those very new to the IT industry may also consider taking our free career quiz to get an idea of which career path makes the most sense to pursue. Everyone can benefit though from reviewing our learning paths for various technology areas – from DevOps to cloud to blockchain and more – and building out a program that makes the most sense for you.
For example, if you want to become a Linux SysAdmin, start with Introduction to Linux then take some other free introductory courses such as Introduction to DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering, A Beginner’s Guide to Open Source Software Development, and Open Source Licensing Basics for Software Developers before moving onto intermediate training.
Once ready to move into intermediate training, the best starting place is Fundamentals of Open Source IT and Cloud Computing training course and related Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA) certification exam, followed by Essentials of Linux System Administration and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification exam.
This training and certification will prepare you to go straight into the workplace in a SysAdmin role, or you can use it as a stepping stone to pursue other IT career paths.
I Manage an IT Team, Why Might I Need to Train My Team in Linux?
While our primary goal is to make training and certification opportunities as accessible as possible, the secondary and directly related goal is to close the talent gap that exists for open source skills. By helping more individuals gain skills in Linux and other important open source technologies like Kubernetes, Node.js, Hyperledger, RISC-V, ONAP, and more, we are also helping employers find the talent they need to achieve their technology goals.
While it is great that there is new talent coming into the market, you also likely have an existing team and want to make sure they have the skills necessary to be successful without having to recruit and hire. To begin with, you need to audit the technology you are using, the technology you want to use, and what skills your current team possesses. For example, if you are considering a cloud migration, you are going to need staff with skills in Linux and Kubernetes at a minimum, and likely additional packages depending on your deployment and maintenance strategies.
As advised to individuals above, have them start with our free online training courses to ensure they have a basic understanding of these technologies. For some team members this will be enough to do what they need to, but others may need more advanced training to ensure you meet your goals.
Once you know your team is ready for intermediate and advanced training, contact our team to discuss your needs and to build a training plan to get your team up to date with the skills they need. We offer off-the-shelf and custom training and certification packages, as well as enterprise subscriptions, giving you a range of options.
Training your teams not only ensures that your organization has the skills it needs to successfully meet your IT goals, but also shows your employees that you value them and are willing to invest in their development. This will help ensure loyalty and reduce turnover, resulting in demonstrable benefits for everyone involved.