The market for training on the open-source operating system was worth $10.9m in 1999, but this is likely to grow to between $118.9m and $311m within four years, according to Michael Brennan, a senior analyst with IDC's education and training research programme.
IDC said the growing popularity of Linux, along with the ever-changing nature of open-source software and the diverse requirements of users, make training an increasingly valuable area.
Four categories of training providers will gain from the growing market: Linux distribution suppliers such as Red Hat, Caldera Systems, Suse and Turbo Linux; server hardware suppliers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard; service providers such as LinuxCare and the Linux Professional Institute; and, of course, IT training companies.
Caldera Systems is also aiming to break into the IT training market with the launch of its first three courses in the OpenLinux Solution series which became available to OpenLearning Providers on 31 October.
The OpenLinux Solutions Series is designed to educate IT professionals to deploy and manage servers optimised for specific functions such as Web, DNS/DHCP (Domain Name System/ Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), Samba, firewall and application servers.
In addition to the OpenLinux Solutions series, Caldera has added a course entitled "Linux, Your First Step", a one-day course focusing on the use of Linux as an office desktop and front-office processing system.
George Stilwell, Linux programme manager for Ikon Education Services, said, "Many IT professionals don't have the time or the need for certification courses but, given the growth of Linux in businesses, they all need to know how to provide solutions."
This was first published in November 2000