CIOs Need More Networking Skilled Pros

Networking skills are the name of the game this quarter, finds a new survey, as CIOs are scrambling to find IT pros able to make wireless tools work on enterprise networks.

Fourteen percent of CIOs said theyll be hiring and two percent of CIOs expected to be making job cuts in the fourth quarter of 2007, finds a survey issued Sept. 11 by Robert Half Technology, an IT recruiting firm. The net 12 percent hiring increase compares favorably with net increases of 15 percent projected in the third quarter of 2007.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of CIOs surveyed said that the technical set they were in the shortest supply of in their departments was Windows administration (for Server 2000/2003), while 70 percent of CIOs cited a shortage in network administration (Cisco Systems, Nortel) as being in shortest supply. Database management skills (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) were cited by 60 percent of CIOs.

But it was networking that CIOs ranked the most in-demand job category, noted by 18 percent of respondents.

"Growing use of wireless devices such as smart phones, cell phones and laptops has heightened the need for professionals who can make these tools function effectively and securely within a companys network," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology in a statement.

Help desk and user support received the second-highest response at 15 percent, followed by applications development at 14 percent.

CIOs cited business growth as driving the need for more IT staff. Forty-five percent of technology executives said that corporate growth was the primary reason they needed more IT workers, followed by the increased need for customer and user support (cited by 18 percent of CIOs) and installation and development of new enterprise-wide applications (15 percent).

The finance, insurance and real estate sectors were expected to see the most hiring activity in the fourth quarter.

"The commercial real estate segment has experienced growth over the past several months," Lee said. "Firms in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are actively recruiting Internet/intranet developers, networking experts and help desk/end-user support staff to sustain growth."

However, Robert Half conducted its hiring forecast in July, before a lot of the bad news about the credit crisis and real estate market meltdown hit the wires.


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