October 26 2020

Online Training Gaining in Importance as Open Source Field Grows in Demand

Open source technologies and talent are poised for growth, despite global economic impact of COVID-19, according to the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report

Cambridge, MA - A new report from edX and the Linux Foundation finds that the demand for open source technology and talent remains high and challenging to recruit for, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many organizations. These trends are part of the findings in the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report, a report (last conducted in 2018) examining the demand for open source talent and trends amongst open source professionals and hiring managers. Key findings include:

  • Online training and certification has become a crucial tool for companies to engage, grow, and retain employees: A full 80% of employers now report that they provide online training courses for employees to learn open-source software, up from 66% two years ago. 52% of hiring managers are more likely to hire someone with a certification, up from 47% two years ago. 
  • Online training and certification is no longer a nice-to-have for employees: 70% of hiring managers report employees have requested more open source training this year, compared to 64% in 2018. This could be due to increasing rates of digital transformation leading to skills gaps. Open source developers specifically were asked in the survey what their employers could do to make them more successful in their roles. The top request is to sponsor attendance at technical conferences at 71%, followed closely by providing training opportunities at 70%.
  • Qualified open source talent is still in short supply: 93% of hiring managers report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open source skills, up from 87% two years ago. Additionally, despite the pandemic and economic slowdown, 37% of hiring managers say they will be hiring more skilled IT professionals in the next six months.
  • Cloud and DevOps are the hot technologies and professions: In terms of knowledge domains, hiring managers report knowledge of open cloud technologies has the most significant impact, with 70% being more likely to hire a professional with these skills, up from 66% in 2018. DevOps pros have risen to the most sought after job role, with 65% of companies looking to hire more DevOps talent, up from 59% in 2018.  

“We’re seeing the pandemic accelerate the trends that corporate learning was already moving towards, such as companies investing in their own workers’ development not only because it helps the bottom line, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Adam Medros, edX President and co-CEO. “Because of this, I’m pleased but not surprised by the reported rise in employers offering training for their employees in open source software technologies. As companies continue to work remotely, the need for new skills is becoming more apparent, and providing online learning opportunities is more critical than ever.”

As open organizations, edX and Linux Foundation know how important these skills are to advancing innovative technology projects around the world. For example, technologists working on our Open edX platform are contributing to its development and creating new and innovative ways for people to learn online and pursue the outcomes they want. Open edX also powers the national platforms in China, Israel, Russia, and France, among others. Over 50 million people worldwide are learning on Open edX. We hope that the information in this report gives open source professionals a clear picture of the industry to inform their decisions around joining and creating teams, and informs organizations’ decisions around training and investing in their workers.


This year’s survey includes responses from more than 175 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government agencies, and staffing firms worldwide, plus more than 900 open source professionals. 

About edX

edX is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 30 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. edX is where you go to learn.


Email: press@edx.org