Windows, Network Admins, Desktop Support Needed

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2008-09-08

Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.) and Fannie Mae, part of the mortgage mayhem, have been bailed out by the federal government, but they still need someone to manage all the elements of cubicle productivity: your PC and the network it lives on. According to a recent report from Robert Half Technology that polled CIOs, people to fill Windows-based administration jobs at the network, server and desktop levels are in demand for the remainder of 2008.

The numbers from the report are as follows:

Network administration (LAN, WAN) is the technical skill set in strongest demand, according to 70 percent of CIOs. This was followed closely by Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) and desktop support, each at 69 percent. (Note: CIOs polled were allowed multiple responses.)

Technology executives cited help desk/technical support as the job area experiencing the most growth, with 18 percent of the response. The strong showing is consistent with research from HDI, the leading association for IT service and support professionals, which found that 45 percent of its members planned to increase help desk/technical support hiring in 2008. Networking, which has held the top spot for the past year in the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, slipped to second at 14 percent, followed by data/database management at 11 percent.

Robert Half Technology goes as far with its numbers as to say that there will be a slight increase in hiring for the rest of 2008, but simply looking at the research doesn't give you or me enough information. What about those who don't touch Windows at all?

Brian Watson over at CIO Insight does a nice job of breaking down career and jobs research for IT and vetting that against what's actually going on in his post IT Job Market: Uncertainty Rules.

I concur that it's a complicated challenge to break it all down and that there is uncertainty, but there is some refreshing news here: Jobs in IT support are strong, and IT support is the backbone of running business across all departments in corporations of all sizes. It's a testament to the power of personal computing and the ubiquity of technology in business.

The point is, even with automation, the Web, robots, virtualization or insert technology buzzword here: IT doesn't manage itself. You can't have a whole lot of business without IT and the people to run and manage it.

Until Windows stops being the dominant business and office desktop of choice for most of the world. I know how clever the Apple ads continue to be on television, but, sorry, my Mac-loving amigos, Windows rules the workplace even with Vista's adoption problems and more competition. For those of you who are facing job stability issues, it's reassuring to know that there are some areas of IT where despite the fluctuations and changes in IT with the Web and business pressures, right now, there is some safety in numbers.

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