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Editor's Note: Linux in the Jobs Market

Linux Jobs are Plentiful

  • January 12, 2000
  • By Kevin Reichard

When economists want an indicator of how an economy is performing, they run through various statistical measures (unemployment rates, consumer spending, tax payments, et al.)--and then they add one not-so-scientific measure: how many want ads are appearing in the daily newspaper.

The reasoning is simple; if the economy is going well, then companies will be looking to fill positions, and the best way to reach a mass audience is via the classified advertising. If there's a collective bad feeling about the economy, then companies will be more conservative in creating jobs.

Simple stuff, really. We could also apply the same principles to see how healthy the Linux economy is; by perusing the job listings of several large Internet job-postings sites, we can judge the state of the Linux economy and decide whether Linux is still in start-up mode or is now a major player in the computer world.

There are several help-wanted sites on the Internet today. Most are geared toward technical jobs--because, after all, most technical types are on the Internet in some form or another--and so they're a ripe place to see who's hiring who for Linux-related jobs.

Search the largest help-wanted sites on the Internet and you'll see a plethora of such listings. A search at monster.com is limited to 1,000 matches, so there's no way to tell exactly how many Linux jobs are listed, as you'll reach the limit of 1,000 returns. The jobs are mostly what you'd expect--analyst, programmer, systems administrator--but there are some surprises, including postings for kernel/device-driver programmers, Python developers and Linux/Oracle administrators. The companies posting the ads are a mix of recruitment firms, pre-IPO startups and established computer-industry players (like Dell). In addition, every level of experience is advertised, ranging from technical interns to IS directors.

Other jobs sites yielded similar results (for instance, there were 675 Linux-related jobs posted at hotjobs.com).

What does this tell us? That there are thousands of Linux-related jobs on the market should tell us that Linux is now mainstream fare for the computing community. Corporations are adopting Linux and treating it on the same level as Windows NT and UNIX. In short, Linux isn't a precious hothouse flower that needs to be nurtured--it's a mainstream operating system.

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