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Cautious Optimism Drives IT Employment Growth

U.S. CIOs appear to be bullish going into the fourth quarter, with 45 percent more confident about investing in IT against 18 percent that are less confident, with 36 percent sitting in the middle, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. They're less optimistic about hiring, with only 9 percent planning to add IT staff, compared to 6 percent that foresee cutbacks before year-end. The survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

Overall, it's cause for cautious optimism, says John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology: "84 percent of CIOs were at least somewhat confident in their company's growth prospects. That's up somewhat from Q3, and a continued building of cautious optimism by CIOs in terms of prospects for not only what they see for their companies, but for IT in general."

Q410_ITHI_Skills-In-Demand.gifOne of the takeaways from the survey is that companies are addressing pent-up demand in the project space. He says there is growing understanding that they need to implement some of these projects to ensure competitiveness. Reed says IT is moving from being another business function to something that can truly drive competitive advantage.

"That's translated into a lot of projects that have been sitting on the shelf and are now moving forward with a lot of increase in project-oriented work."

It's also being reflected in who is being hired, and how. Rather than a significant increase in hiring full-time resources, organizations are being more strategic and hiring more project-based employees.

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