Thirteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) plan to add information technology (IT) staff and 3 percent anticipate personnel reductions in the first quarter of 2008, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report , a leading provider of IT professionals .
“Companies are investing in a range of technology initiatives, including Web 2.0 development, wireless communication and network security,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Firms recruiting IT professionals to support these projects are looking for talent with the right mix of technical expertise, industry-specific experience and soft skills.”
Twenty-seven percent of CIOs polled said business growth is the leading reason for expanding their IT departments. Increased need for customer and/or end-user support (20 percent), and the management of systems upgrades (19 percent ) were also cited as leading factors.
Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) skills are in greatest demand in IT departments.
Networking is the hottest job category for the second straight quarter.
CIOs in the Middle Atlantic1 and West South Central2 states are the most optimistic about hiring plans.
Business services firms lead all industries in hiring expectations.
Skills in Demand
Windows administration is the most sought after technical skill set in IT departments, according to 74 percent of CIOs polled. Network administration (Cisco, Nortel) was cited by 70 percent of respondents, followed by database management (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server) at 59 percent and firewall administration at 54 percent. (Note: CIOs surveyed were allowed multiple responses.)
For the second consecutive quarter, executives ranked networking as the job category experiencing the most growth, with 19 percent of the response. This was followed by help desk/end-user support at 14 percent and applications development at 12 percent.
Technology executives in the business services sector are most optimistic about hiring in the first three months of the year. Twenty percent of CIOs plan to add IT staff and 2 percent foresee personnel cutbacks, for a net 18 percent increase.
Notable hiring gains also are forecast in the finance, insurance and real estate industry, where executives anticipate a net 16 percent increase. CIOs in the transportation sector expect a net 14 percent increase, followed by professional services and retail at 12 percent each.
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