According to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, 17% of chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed plan to add IT staff in the next three months and 2% foresee personnel cutbacks. The net 15% increase, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2001, is up three percentage points from the previous quarter’s projection.
Business growth remains the top reason companies are adding IT staff – cited by 39%. Twenty-seven percent cited demand for increased customer and/or end-user support as the reason for hiring (little wonder, since help desk/end-user support is the job category experiencing the most growth). The installation or development of new enterprisewide applications, and systems upgrades each received 12% of the response.
Help Desk Help
The overall job category experiencing the most growth is help desk/end- user support, cited by 21% of CIOs surveyed. Other positions in demand include:
- 14% – networking
- 11% – applications development
- 11% – data/database management
Firms in the Pacific region plan the strongest hiring activity in the third quarter, and CIOs in the wholesale sector are most optimistic about employment gains, according to a press release. Respondents from the wholesale sector indicated that their greatest need is for database management and administration skills (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2), as well as Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) expertise.
Employment gains for the Middle Atlantic and New England states also are expected to exceed the national average, with CIOs in both regions anticipating a net 19% hiring increase.
Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) remains the most sought-after skill set, cited by 79%. Network administration (Cisco, Nortel) received 72% of the response, followed by database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) at 64% (there were multiple responses).
Robert Half Technology has conducted additional CIO interviews in major metropolitan areas to provide more detailed analyses of IT hiring trends in these markets. The local results are available at http://www.rht.com/pressroom
The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.