IDC: more Linux equals more training needs

The need for training IT professionals on the Linux operating system is increasing, according to a new report just released.

The International Data Corp. study suggests the U.S. market for training professionals on the open-source operating system could grow to between US$118.9 million and US$311 million by 2004. The market in 1999 was worth US$10.9 million, said Michael Brennan, a senior analyst with IDC’s IT education and training research program.

The rapid deployment of Linux servers is sparking the need for greater understanding of the ever-evolving operating system, Brennan said. In the overall scheme, Linux is “pretty small” in the IT training market as Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT continues to be the most heavily-used server operating system. Linux is second, while Unix and Novell Inc.’s ‘s NetWare come in third and fourth.

Four categories of training providers will gain from the growing market. Those include: Linux distribution vendors, such as Red Hat Inc., Caldera System Inc. and TurboLinux Inc.; server hardware vendors such as Dell Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. Silicon Graphics Inc. and VA Linux Systems Inc.; Linux service providers, such as LinuxCare Inc. Linux Professional Institute and SAIR, and IT training vendors, such as Global Knowledge Inc., Learning Tree International Inc., Productivity Point International Inc., and SmartForce.

Quarter over quarter, Red Hat has experienced a 16 per cent to 22 per cent increase of IT professionals signing up for its training courses, said company spokeswoman Melissa London.

“We expect it is going to grow, particularly since we are going into the e-learning space.”