Technology executives expect IT hiring to continue in the first quarter of 2012, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest quarterly survey, 20 percent of CIOs said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 10 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 10 percent projected increase in hiring activity.
This is up four points from the previous quarter's projections.
Other findings in the report include:
"The employment market for IT professionals has become more active, with many professionals looking for new opportunities," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm. "The new year, especially, can be a time of transition as companies staff up and IT professionals take stock of their careers."
Skills in demand
The functional areas in which executives say they are experiencing the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are networking (20 percent) and IT security (19 percent). Applications development, data/database management and help desk/technical support followed a close second, cited by 15 percent, 11 percent and 10 percent of survey respondents, respectively.
Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 57 percent of CIOs. Windows administration and desktop support were next, each with 56 percent of the response.
CIOs in the West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) area of the country plan the most IT hiring in the first quarter with a net 23 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff.
Executives in the retail industry expect the most IT hiring in the first quarter. A net 17 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry with a net 16 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing was next, with a net 11 percent of executives in these industries planning to add staff.
The quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. First published in 1995, the study is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.