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Survey shows increased business confidence among IT executives

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Chief information officers (CIOs) expect a modest increase in hiring in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex).

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Nine percent of chief information officers (CIOs) plan to add information technology (IT) staff and 6 percent foresee cutbacks before the end of the year. The net 3 percent increase in hiring activity is down three points from the prior quarter's forecast, but up three points from this time last year.

The survey also found that 84 percent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies' growth prospects in the fourth quarter, up three points from the third quarter.

The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

Key findings

The net 3 percent increase in projected hiring activity is down three points from the prior quarter but up three points from this time last year.

The South Atlantic and East South Central regions anticipate the most active IT hiring.

Eighty-four percent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies' growth prospects in the fourth quarter; 37 percent are very confident.

Network administration skills remain the most in demand among employers.

"Technology executives continue to add staff to keep up with rising workloads and to implement projects previously put on hold," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Many organizations have realized that technology investments can lead to long-term cost savings and better efficiency, which has resulted in hiring in a number of IT specialties."

Confidence in business growth and IT investments

When asked to rate how confident they are in their organizations' growth prospects in the fourth quarter, 84 percent of technology executives said they are very or somewhat confident, up three points from the third quarter. Forty-five percent of CIOs said they are optimistic about their firms' likelihood of investing in IT projects in the coming months.

Skills in demand

The functional area reported as most challenging to find skilled professionals was networking, cited by 21 percent of executives, followed by information security and help desk/technical support, each with 13 percent of the response.

For a majority of CIOs (60 percent), the technical skill set most in demand within their IT departments is network administration. Database management ranked second, with 54 percent of the response, followed by Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008) and desktop support, each with 51 percent of the response. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)

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