Small and medium businesses (SMBs) looking to boost digital transformation initiatives are fueling an ever-increasing demand for a skilled open source workforce, according to a new survey.

The 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, compiled jointly by the Linux Foundation, and learning platform edX, gives a nice overview of the demand for open source talent and emerging trends among open source professionals.

The ninth annual edition of the report notes that cloud and container technology skills are most in-demand by hiring managers, surpassing Linux for the first time in the history of the report, with 46% of hiring managers on the lookout for cloud skills. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin,  said:

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

Skills gap

The report surveyed more than 200 hiring managers from across SMBs, large corporations, government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe. It then combined them with responses from more than 750 open source professionals to get a pulse of the trends. Surprisingly, even though 50% of the surveyed employers are increasing hires this year. an overwhelming number of hiring managers (92%) note that sufficient talent with open source skills is difficult to come by.

To close the skill gap, employers are prioritizing training investments, with an overwhelming number of managers (88%) prioritizing hires of certified talent, and a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications.

One worrying increase is in the number of open source professionals who report they have been discriminated against (18%). The jump represents a 125% increase over the past three years, which isn’t flattering for the community.

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Nikoleta Yanakieva Editor at DevStyleR International