The good folks over at Robert Half Technology recently put out its quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report report with an eye on the second quarter of 2009. With over 1400 CIOs polled in the survey, the report is a steadfast gauge of the kind of IT skills, trends, and challenges are happening in the industry on a national scale.
When you compare them with other reports on the same subject, you start to see trends emerge that help confirm and validate a number of things. Like the Bluewolf report I blogged on recently, networking skills remain constantly in-demand, with desktop support and Windows admins being highly sought after too. A main difference of this report as compared to the Bluewolf (which was a NY/NJ/CT -only study) is that desktop support skills outweigh networking skills, but not by much.
Other top skills in need include database management, telecom support and wireless network management. Seeing virtualization and business intelligence skills in close contest with web design and development (in the 30 to 40 percent range of skills 'most in demand') further validates the energy and cost cutting going on in the data center combined with the desire to mine existing data for more intelligent business use. BI implementations, along with ERP, CRM and other large, complex software packages, are known for being seriously challenging to get right and involve a whole host of tangential jobs like project and program managers, developers, and line of business managers.
But this report isn't only about skills... It also asks questions about hiring and what kind of industries are participating. In its summary heading 'Industries Hiring', the report says as follows:
"CIOs in the business services and professional services sectors are most optimistic about hiring in the upcoming quarter. Ten percent of business services executives interviewed plan to add staff and 3 percent will reduce the size of their IT workforce, for a net 7 percent increase. In the professional services sector, 11 percent of CIOs anticipate hiring more staff and 5 percent expect staff reductions, for a net 6 percent increase."
For a broad look at skills in demand, check out this gargantuan image (hey, I wanted you to be able to read it easily):