Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.
No matter what their field of professional endeavor, few people enter the workforce by taking a job they intend to hold for the duration of their entire career. It's quite common for people to change jobs as they gain experience and learn new skills, either taking on positions of greater responsibility with their original employer or moving to a different firm or organization.
In our recent Linux Certification Survey, we asked some questions to determine how certified Linux professionals feel about the employment situation they have now, and whether they've thought about making changes. To start with, we asked whether anyone is thinking about exiting the IT realm altogether at some point in the next three-to-five years.
Almost no one who participated in the survey thinks they are right on the cusp of such a scenario — just 7 percent of respondents think it is either likely (5.3 percent) or very likely (1.8 percent) that they will soon transition to a different industry altogether. Roughly 16 percent of those surveyed are less inclined to make the leap but still open to the possibility, deeming it somewhat likely.
For the most part, however, certified Linux professionals are strongly inclined to remain in IT. A bit more than 77 percent of those surveyed report that they are not likely to look for work in a different, non-IT field at any point in the next three-to-five years.
Staying put in IT, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily mean staying in the same IT sector. Linux skills are broadly applicable, and there is potential for certified Linux professionals to find work across the IT industry. That led to our next question: How likely are those in our survey group to, at some point in the next 3 to 5 years, look for work in a different IT field?
There's a range of opinion here. Almost 30 percent of respondents say that they are not likely to look for work elsewhere in the tech realm over the next three-to-five years. There's also the 27.6 percent of certified Linux professionals who say it's only somewhat likely that they'll go looking for the proverbial greener grass in that time frame.
Nearly 45 percent of those surveyed, on the other hand, practically have one foot out the door. These folks believe it either likely (25.9 percent) or very likely (17.2 percent) that the next three-to-five years of their career will see them putting out feelers to different parts of the wider IT world.
Some IT specializations, of course, feed into others. An individual who starts out working as a certified Linux professional could end up transitioning to cloud computing, for example, or computer networking. That led to our final question about career positioning: How likely are certified Linux professionals to retain their Linux-certified status over the next three-to-five years?
Exactly half of those surveyed (50 percent) fully intend to maintain the status quo, considering themselves very likely to remain certified Linux professionals in the foreseeable future. A further 43 percent say its either likely (22.4 percent) or at least somewhat likely (20.7 percent) that they will stick with Linux.
That leaves just 6.9 percent of those surveyed who are ready for something different. Those folks say it's not likely that they will maintain their Linux-certified status over the next three-to-five years.