Demand for Linux expertise is growing: In 2010, the number of postings that included Linux skills grew by 47 percent on Dice. By comparison, postings that included Windows experience increased by 40 percent. "The number of Linux-based projects is rapidly increasing all over this industry," says Dirk Hohndel, Intel's Linux and Open Source Technologist. "More and more devices and systems and services are built based on Linux, and therefore, more and more manufacturers and vendors are looking for Linux talent." A recent search on Dice found more than 9,500 positions needing Linux experience, with the majority in California, New York, Texas, Maryland and Washington. Additional skills for these positions include development, Unix, communication, Java, C, C++, engineering and SQL. Amazon lists the most open positions - no surprise since the company is ramping up hiring. Northrop Grumman is also looking to hire Linux people, many for positions related to cybersecurity. Dell needs to fill nearly 200 jobs involving Linux. IBM also has more than 100 listings for Linux work. IT professionals skilled in Linux tend to earn as much as 10 percent over others. In particular, those skilled in Red Hat and Novell's SUSE Linux platform received an average salary of $87,000 a year compared with $79,000 for IT workers overall. -- Chandler Harris