The Linux Foundation this week announced it will make up to 500 training scholarships available this year.
Clyde Seepersad, general manager for training at the Linux Foundation, said the number of Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarships being made available is being increased because of both the demand for individuals with particular expertise such as Kubernetes and the fact that more people are spending more time at home. As such, many IT professionals have more time available to advance their skills, said Seepersad.
Unfortunately, there are going to be many more unemployed IT professionals as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the global economy. Many of those individuals will need to attain additional certifications to compete in an IT job market that suddenly has much less demand and a pool of job candidates that has increased seemingly overnight.
The scholarships being made available by The Linux Foundation are designed to encourage individuals with varying types of backgrounds to develop open source software expertise. They include:
Open Source Newbies
Women in Open Source
Software Developer Do-Gooder
SysAdmin Super Star
Linux Kernel Guru
Web Development Wiz
Since 2011, more than 100 training and certification scholarships valued at more than $220,000 have been awarded by The Linux Foundation. The deadline for applying for the latest round of scholarships is April 30.
The Linux Foundation is also making available its entire catalog of paid eLearning and certification exams available at 30% off through April 7.
Seepersad said all the courses made available by The Linux Foundation are accessible online. Each exam administered is also recorded. Interestingly enough, Seepersad said the number of potential cheating incidents is far less online than in classrooms mainly because each individual taking an exam is recorded. There’s also more opportunity to potentially share answers in a traditional classroom setting, he noted.
It’s unclear precisely how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact demand for IT skills going forward. While it’s clear there will be fewer IT professionals employed, there may be an actual increase in demand for individuals with open source expertise. During the last economic downturn many organizations adopted an “open source-first” philosophy to acquiring software as part of an effort to reduce IT costs. Many of those organizations determined they would rather allocate their much-reduced IT budgets to retaining IT staff than paying for commercial software, even if that meant the time and effort required to implement and manage that software was higher.
At the same time, it’s worth noting many organizations may need to accelerate the rate at which they are modernizing their IT environments. Now that most employees and end customers are spending most of their time at home, many organizations are finding their existing portfolio of applications do not lend themselves easily to being remotely accessed. Some might even take advantage of open source container technologies to lift and shift entire existing legacy applications into the cloud because their IT staff may not be able to physically access a local data center for more than a month.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, the one thing that is for certain is working in enterprise IT environments will never be the same again.