posted by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Fri 17th Jul 2009 18:33 UTC
IconThe news has been abuzz about Google's upcoming OS. Many people have been arguing reasons for and against the system, its viability in such a market, and, if the OS is successful, even the morality of the company who may be trusted with even more private information than it already has. Well, here's another reason for Chrome OS: it could bring more jobs in the area of Linux IT.

With the worldwide recession, people in just about every industry are feeling or at least witnessing the effects in some way. According to CV Screen, a recruitment agency, the IT industry overall has lost 55% of its jobs in the last twelve months. On the other hand, open source jobs have been able to weather the storm a little easier; Linux IT jobs have only dropped by about 30% in that same twelve months, meaning that Linux IT seems to be the better way to go if one intends on keeping his or her occupation.

Even still, 30% is a large cut, and there are many successful Linux IT personnel who simply had to be let go from their respective companies. However, CV Screen predicts that Google's Chrome OS will help Linux IT to rebound. Not only is Google already looking for more software engineers experienced in Linux, but the industry as a whole will begin hiring more. With open source-related jobs already better off than other tech-related occupations, the introduction of another open source product from one of the most known companies in the world may just help bring more jobs to the scene.

From the mouth of Matthew Iveson, director of specialist IT recruitment at CV Screen:

In what has been a tough marketplace, we have seen demand for open source technologies such as PHP, Linux, and MySQL hold up fairly well, and it is one area where we have been regularly placing candidates. We anticipate that the long term impact will be an increased demand for IT professionals who are required to support Linux based systems. This is likely to mean that Linux professionals with qualifications such as LCP, LCE or RHCE will be much sought after by employers.

What it sounds like to me is that Chrome OS is only a drop-- or maybe a gallon jug (or liter for those in Europe and elsewhere)-- in a vast lake. As popular as it may become, open source is already spread vastly and is used by many companies especially for servers and other IT-related needs. Chrome OS, with all of its probable pros and cons, can only help in the job scene: more software engineers, more customer support, more Linux-friendly geeks in Office Depot to help people decide whether to choose the Windows or the Chrome netbook. That's all hypothetical, of course. What if Chrome OS netbooks aren't pushed into retail stores as much as one might think? What if the stores don't hire Linux-friendly geeks and the general populace buys Windows because it's what they know? I suppose we'll see in a few years.

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