More and more companies are willing to pay for tech professionals’ certifications, according to a new report from Dice and the Linux Foundation. Some 55 percent of employers are helping cover the cost of employee certifications in 2018, up from 47 percent last year and 34 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, the number of employers who said they wouldn’t pay for certifications is shrinking rapidly, declining from 21 percent last year to 17 percent today. (The survey queried 750 hiring managers at corporations, small- to midsize businesses (SMBs), government agencies, and staffing firms worldwide, in addition to 6,500 open-source professionals.) An increasing number of tech pros also view certifications as valuable, a belief backed up by data: the average certification can boost a base salary by 7.6 percent, according to Foote Partners. No wonder 80 percent of tech pros say that certifications are useful to their careers (up from 76 percent in 2016-17). Some 47 percent of hiring managers say they are more likely to hire a certified professional than one without a certification; the same percentage says that hiring certified tech pros is a priority. They also indicated a willingness to train employees in the necessary open-source skills. “Linux is back on top as the most in-demand open source skill category, making it required knowledge for most entry-level open source careers,” the report added. “This isn’t surprising considering the strong popularity of cloud and container technologies, as well as DevOps practices, all of which typically run on Linux.” So if you’re applying for a job that leverages open-source technology in some way, know that many employers are willing to pay for your training and certification; if they don’t offer such things as an incentive during the interview and onboarding process, you can likely bring it up with your boss once you’re part of the company. Given the tech industry’s low unemployment rates, and companies’ need to retain top talent, chances are very good that they’ll shell out the necessary funds to get you the certifications you need.