Salary Survey Extra: Linux around the world
Posted on
November 14, 2015

An overall lack of resources in some parts of the world means that there are still places you can go where information technology doesn't have much of a presence. IT is absolutely making the world a smaller place, however, and IT certification is a global endeavor. Which is not to say that IT professionals are the same wherever you find them.

Due to the open source nature of Linux, the overall collaborative effort that makes it thrive can quite literally involve participation by like-minded people from anywhere and everywhere. Responses to our Linux Salary Survey came in from IT pros in 34 different countries scattered around the globe. So are all Linux IT pros cut from the same cloth?

We looked at survey participants from the top 5 countries represented in the survey to find out. The United States dominated overall survey participation but there were also strong showings by (in order) Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Brazil. Here's a snapshot of key characteristics of Linux professionals in each country.

Linux IT pros are an interesting group, wherever you find them.

United States
Age: Linus Torvalds himself is only 45, so it would appear that U.S. Linux pros, with an average age of 44, are likely to have been early Linux adopters.
Education: Roughly 40 percent of U.S. Linux pros have bachelor's degrees, with the next most common educational background being either a master's degree (17 percent) or technical training with no college degree (14.3 percent).
Income: Linux is a profitable pursuit in the United States. The average annual income among all U.S. survey participants is $91,650.
Games People Play: We asked survey respondents indicate whether they'd rather play chess, Jenga, poker, Settlers of Catan, or World of Warcraft. Poker was the most popular choice among U.S. Linux pros, followed by chess.
Stay fit: While their peers in other countries are banging weights or, more than anything else, really, running, U.S. Linux pros go at a more gradual pace. Walking is overwhelmingly the preferred mode of exercise, though there are smaller contingents of hikers and runners.

Linux IT pros are an interesting group, wherever you find them.

Age: Like their American counterparts, German Linux pros, with an average age of�42, are likely to�have gone quite a ways down a Linux career path.
Education: A striking 50 percent of German Linux pros hold master's degrees, though the next largest block, at slightly less than 24 percent, have technical training with no college degree.
Income: Survey respondents indicate their income using the U.S. dollar. So our data is already at least one estimation removed from reality, We converted back to euros, and came up with the following average annual income of German survey respondents: 72,890.
Games People Play: Chess came in first, followed by Poker. This has to be considered a crushing blow for German game designer Klaus Teuber, whose globally popular Settlers of Catan board game rated a distant fourth.
Stay fit: What's with all the Linux pros who are runners? You'll notice a trend as we move to the other countries on our list. Other preferences in Germany include crossfit, hiking, swimming and weight training.

UK flag

United Kingdom
Age: At an average age of 33, U.K. Linux pros are still hip enough to go clubbing after work.
Education: The United Kingdom is relatively analogous to the United States, with about half of all Linux pros holding bachelor's degrees, followed by a strong contingent (22.8 percent) with master's degrees.
Income: Here again, we made a simple conversion back to local currency. The average annual income of U.K. survey respondents is 52,520.
Games People Play: Lest you suppose that the British are snobs, consider the first-place tie here between chess and World of Warcraft.
Stay fit: Soccer is huge in the U.K., but not when it comes to Linux pros and their exercise: running is the first priority, followed by walking, hiking, yoga, and then team sports.

Belgian flag

Age: As in the U.K., Belgium, with an average age among survey respondents of 32, has a (relative) Linux youth movement afoot.
Education: Nearly 75 percent of Belgian Linux pros have a university background with either a bachelor's degree (48 percent) or master's degree (26.4 percent).
Income: Belgium uses the euro, like Germany, but Belgian Linux pros (at least the ones who responded to our survey) don't appear to be as well off as their German counterparts. The average annual income of Belgian survey respondents is 40,625.
Games People Play: It's Teuber's Settlers of Catan in a walk. Any prophet that hath no honor in his own country should try Belgium.
Stay fit: Belgian Linux pros are into covering distance when they exercise, broadly preferring running to the second-most popular choice of swimming.

Brazilian flag

Age: Brazilian Linux pros, as a group, are slightly more seasoned on average, at age 34.5, than their European counterparts.
Education: Only about 25 percent of Brazilian Linux pros come from a four-year university background, with many relying on two-year college programs of technical training with no college credential.
Income: The Brazilian real suffers most by comparison with the dollar, at almost four real per dollar. The average annual income of Brazilian survey respondents is R$97,870.
Games People Play: Another victory for the snobs, with a huge overall preference for chess. Computer geeks. What are you gonna do? (Play chess, apparently.)
Stay fit: Don't take your Linux gang to Brazil looking for a fight. When it comes to exercise, Brazilian Linux pros are mostly likely to go for crossfit or weight training.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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