IT job picture looks solid for Q1

Overall, a net 10 percent of CIOs expect to increase hiring in the first quarter of 2012, that's up 4 percent from the previous quarter.

Chief information officers expect to pick up their hiring plans for the first quarter, but struggle with shortages for key skills, according to a survey by IT staffing firm Robert Half.

Overall, a net 10 percent of CIOs expect to increase hiring in the first quarter of 2012, that's up 4 percent from the previous quarter. Twenty percent said their IT departments will expand and 10 percent expect to cut back.

The Robert Half survey is based on interviews with 1,400 CIOs in the U.S. with 100 or more employees.

Overall, tech executives remain upbeat with 83 percent of CIOs at least somewhat confident about their companies' prospects for the first quarter. Forty two percent of CIOs said the probability of investing in technology projects was high.

Among the key points:

  • Networking and security professionals are in the most demand. 20 percent of CIOs said networking pros were hardest to find and 19 percent cited security. Applications development was cited by 15 percent of CIOs as a hard position to fill.
  • 57 percent of CIOs cited network administrations as the skill in most demand. Windows administration and desktop support was cited by 56 percent.
  • 73 percent of CIOs say that finding skilled workers is difficult. That tally is up 7 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Companies in the Southwest plan to hire the most IT workers.
  • A net 17 percent of CIOs at retailers plan to hire more workers.

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