As waves of job losses cut across most U.S. industries, IT positions continue to represent a relatively safe haven, according to an IT hiring survey of nationwide CIOs released Tuesday.
The Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index of 1,400 CIOs found that CIOs are planning a net 2% hiring increase in the next three months. The percentage was reached after 8% of the CIOs said they plan to add IT personnel in the next quarter and 6% said they anticipate cutting staff positions.
"Not surprisingly, companies are being more judicious when hiring in today's economic environment," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "Budgets must support critical IT projects, and companies are re-examining their staffing needs accordingly."
Even as IT hiring holds up, the jobs trajectory is trending downward: Robert Half reported a 14% net increase in IT job hiring in December 2006. The mix of jobs in demand has shifted slightly since then, with desktop support the technical skill most in demand today, while Windows administration expertise and network administration skills were the most wanted positions in 2006.
In its latest survey, the staffing agency found that network administration specialists -- typically of WANs and LANs -- were also in high demand, followed closely by Windows administration experts. The chief growth areas were for specialists in help desk/technical support and networking. Some 15% of CIOs cited those areas, while 10% named Internet/intranet development as areas experiencing the most growth.