These are rotten times for job hunters -- but if you know Linux, you have a better shot at getting a job. And now the Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization that backs Linux's growth, is doing its part to help by starting a new Web site: the Linux Jobs Board.
According to the Linux Foundation, "the new Linux.com Jobs Board will provide employers and job seekers with an important online forum in which anyone can find the best and brightest Linux talent or the ideal job opportunity." In the press release, Jim Zemlin, the Foundation's director, is quoted, "Linux's increasing use across industries is building high demand for Linux jobs despite national unemployment stats. Linux.com reaches millions of Linux professionals from all over the world. By providing a Jobs Board feature on the popular community site, we can bring together employers, recruiters and job seekers to lay the intellectual foundation for tomorrow's IT industry."
He's right. Linux is still a hot area for would-be software developers and system and network administrators. The JobThread Network, an online jobs site, reports that the demand for Linux-related jobs has grown 80 percent since 2005. By the Linux Foundation's count, that makes Linux professionals the "fastest growing job category in the IT industry."
If you want to look for a job, you can just go straight to the site. Once there, you can use your LinkedIn credentials to speed up your job hunt. I highly recommend using LinkedIn for trying to find work whether you know Linux or not. This business social network may not be as much fun as Twitter or Facebook, but it's an easy way of getting your work history and references in front of possible employers.
Want to post a job opening? You can either place your opening on just the Linux Job Board or use the JobThread Network on Linux.com "to reach an extended audience that includes 50 niche publishing sites with a combined 9.8 million visitors every month." Want to know more about posting openings? Visit the Linux Job Board's posting page.
All that said, what do you really need to find a Linux job? Experience trumps everything, of course, but a Linux certification can also be a help.
There are many Linux certifications. They most important of these for a job hunter is the high-end Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). Besides RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) being the most popular business Linux server system, the RHCE is the most respected Linux certification out there. The other Red Hat certifications are also well worth considering.
Both the Novell and the Red Hat certification families are for more advanced system and network administrators. If you want to get an entry-level Linux job, you should look into the Linux Professional Institute's entry-level LPIC-1. This vendor-neutral certification probably delivers the best bang for the buck for someone's who new to Linux.
None of this matters if you don't look — so head over to the new Linux Foundation site and get hunting. Some Linux jobs are out there (more than can be said for many technology areas!), so go out there and get one! Good luck.