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(?) Future in Linux

From Morgan Howe

Answered By Dan Wilder, Michael Gargiullo, Thomas Adam (the LG Weekend Mechanic), Ben Okopnik

I'm almost a junior in college now, and I know I want a career in the computer field, but my real love is Linux. I also am really interested in networking and the internet, but there's just so many options its hard to make up my mind. I'm wondering if there is a good paying career for a Linux professional, and if so, what should I do in my last two years of college to prepare myself? I can't decide if I should go with an information systems degree, or just a regular CS degree. If I could just get any information about possible career ideas in the linux field, or even if you could point me in the right direction to find more information I'd greatly appreciate it, and you have my word I'll renew my subscription when it runs out. ;)
Thanks in advance, Morgan Howe
Near as I can tell, the Linux Journal staff decided to send it to us and see if we could answer him better. I hope he, and anyone else out there job seeking these days, finds this useful. -- Heather
(!) [Dan Wilder]
Most everybody ad SSC works full-time in Linux. IBM, HP and other major players are putting lots of money into Linux, and it seems to be holding its own as a web server platform while continuing to creep into the enterprise.
You might try keying "Linux" into a search of dice.com. Lots of spots for network administrators, web designers, driver writers, and others, last time I checked.
Your mileage may vary. A large Redmond company might prefer if there were no such thing as Linux, and though many of us have our opinions, in truth only time will tell.
(!) [Michael Gargiullo]
There are more and more Linux based jobs out there. OK Granted the market isn't great right now, but more and more companies are realizing the benifits of Open Source.
Your school path should be based on what you want to do... Are you looking to write the next killer app or kernel module? If so go with the CS Degree, and learn good coding form.
As for the company in redmond...If you like them the do hire Linux professionals( The don't openly admit this) but a friend of mine who is a Perl genius and a strict Solaris guy just got picked up by them for their "enterprise email server project". Redmond might scream and shout that open source is evil, but they love and use it as well. Just remember, up until a few years ago, all of their web servers were running on *nix boxes. Another example, they have a software version control package, that is based off an open source package (They were even lame about it, all of the comands are the same but have the "ms" prefix).
Sorry I ran off on a tangent... There are jobs out there...
Good Luck Clean Code
(!) [Mike "Iron" Orr, LG Editor]
I'm in Seattle. The only places I can think of to search are:
  1. The job websites - http://www.monster.com, http://www.dice.com, etc.
  2. Your local hi-tech career fair
  3. Your local Chamber of Commerce
  4. Your local library
  5. Something else I was going to mention, but I forgot.
(!) [Thomas Adam, the LG Weekend Mechanic]
(Well, this is the Linux Gazette (LG), not Linux Journal (LJ), but I'll let you off :-)
Linux is becoming more and more popular with businesses these days. Certainly you should have no problem coming into "contact" with it.
...as for your CS degree...
I assume that you're an American. I am English and so cannot really say what your courses are like. I am 19 and am currently at University. I am doing an HND (Higher National Diploma) in Computer Science, which does cover some Unix aspects, if only basic. But it is a good sign that the course leaders here acknowledge the fact that Unix (and indeed Linux) is being used.
Any computer-orientated course should allow you the opportunity of using Linux. There is yet to be a degree here in the UK for Linux. However, software engineering which uses C, does use the Unix environment. So, you might get into Linux that way.
I would recommend going along to a local LUG to find out from the memebers there how they got involved with Linux.
There is information out tbere, especially on the internet.
I did a google/linux search and founf 1,2,9998 hits for Linux orientated jobs.

(?) and you have my word I'll renew my subscription when it runs out. ;)

(!) [Thomas] :-) I get the LJ too -- but don't feel obliged to re-new your subscription, just because I and Dan have helped you.
It has been a pleasure.
Good luck. Let me know how you get on.
(?) [Thomas] I did a google/linux search and founf 1,2,9998 hits for Linux orientated jobs.
(!) [Ben] Is this that New Math I keep hearing about? Thomas, please send me your professors' email addresses. It's remedial classes for you, sir. :)
(!) [Thomas] Lol, I thought you'd like it Ben. Of course, don't tell the others it's really that secret KGB code that you've been after. I like the cover up of blaming my maths too -- nobody will ever suspect that our plan for world domination is near completion :-)
Ok, seriously now though, I made a typo error.
Sorry, Mr. Okopnik, sir, it shan't happen again.....
--Thomas Adam

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