The Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report surveyed 1,400 CIOs with more than 100 employees and found that 13% of them plan to add to their staff while 3% plan to reduce staff hiring, for a net 10% increase.
As in other recent Robert Half surveys, Windows administration and networking were generally the employee skills that are most sought after by CIOs. Server 2000/2003 expertise was cited most often in the Windows area, while Cisco and Nortel were often cited in the networking area.
A total of 74% of CIOs said Windows administration was their most sought after technical skill, followed by network administration (70%), database management (59%), and firewall administration (54%.)
"Companies are investing in a range of technology initiatives, including Web 2.0 development, wireless communication, and network security," said Katherine Spencer Lee, Robert Half Technology's executive director, in a statement. "Firms recruiting IT professionals to support these projects are looking for talent with the right mix of technical expertise (and) industry-specific experience."
Various reasons were cited by CIOs for expanding their departments, ranging from business growth (27%), need for customer support (20%), and systems upgrades management (19%).
Networking continued its top ranking for the second straight quarter for most growth (19%), while help desk support was second at 14%, followed by applications development's 12% growth.
In the regional breakdown, CIOs in the mid-Atlantic states are anticipating the most growth in the quarter, as 17% of CIOs there are planning a hiring increase. In particular demand in the region are Web developers, Robert Half Technology noted. The west-central states also are planning a significant increase in IT hiring.
Industries planning to add staff include business services, finance, insurance, real estate, transportation, professional services, and retail.