IT industry trends such as cloud computing have changed the types of technical job skills that companies need, which means there are a number of open SysAdmin jobs and very few candidates with the right set of skills.
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In fact, there are 12,606 Linux jobs available as of June 2012 -- up 13% year over year, according to a recent survey conducted by Dice.com, an IT career website.
The majority of those jobs are mid-level, which normally requires three to five years of experience.
"But that doesn't mean that recent grads can't get hired," says Alice Hill, managing director at Dice.
"When demand is strong, like it is with Linux, companies are willing to trade off strict requirements for a tech professional who is knowledgeable and can contribute to the overall goals of the tech department," said Hill.
Alex Hillmanaging director, Dice.com
While there's already a glut of Linux training courses on the market to help IT pros gain the proper skills, new training offered by The Linux Foundation can help job seekers meet the latest open source career demands.
The new vendor-neutral courses provide technically advanced training in Linux system administration, networking, security and cloud computing.
The Linux Foundation's latest offerings "will have some success" because it has a powerful name attached, said Sander Van Vugt, an independent Linux consultant. It also doesn't hurt that they offer annual scholarships.
Extended education courses offered by the Linux Foundation and Linux Professional Institute (LPI), such as the distribution-neutral classes and Linux-specific projects that students complete in school, may be the key to building a resume to get higher-level positions.
"Demonstrating know-how, creativity, flexibility and interest is the killer combination for new grads," said Hill.
Adding knowledge to your repertoire is never a bad thing, especially since "college courses typically don't offer the level that is currently needed on the market," said Van Vugt.
Linux Foundation Scholarship applicants should fill out the submission form by 12:01 a.m. PT on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Applications will be reviewed by The Linux Foundation and recipients will be notified in early August.