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Is open source a clear path to success for new grads?

Sharon Florentine | June 17, 2016
Open source is a great career direction for newly minted computer science and IT graduates. Here's why.

Having a portfolio of successful projects and an active GitHub profile is a great advantage to have, especially in the midst of an open source hiring boom. The recent Open Source Jobs Report from and The Linux Foundation showed that 65 percent of hiring managers say open source hiring will increase more than any other part of their business over the next six months. With even traditional companies tackling digital transformation, there's more code than ever before in areas like home automation and automotive, and much of that code is open source, says Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

Open source shortage

"The reality is that technical talent in open source is tight. This is a huge opportunity for open source professionals and new graduates to grow their skills in this area. Digital transformation means that almost everything now is a digital device, and that means much more code must be written," Zemlin says.

With such a huge emphasis on the IT talent crunch and the business needs of companies looking for open source professionals, Ellis believes her students -- both from her Trinity College days and her current position at Western New England University -- have a major leg up on the job market.

"I have an industry advisory board of people I speak to, all of whom are either CEOs, CIOs and other high-level executives, and they all want to see candidates with evidence of open source contribution. It absolutely answers the question about how classroom skills translate into the job market; it makes that transition seamless," she says.


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