It appears as though the new year will continue to bring positive career prospects for information technology professionals, as more than 80 percent of chief information officers are planning to hire new IT staff to expand or fill vacant positions, according to a new study.
Robert Half Technology’s 2014 IT Hiring Forecast found that 83 percent of CIOs plan to hire staff in the first half of 2014, with 67 percent hiring only for open IT roles and 16 percent adding more staff to their departments. Those figures were up five points compared to projections for the previous six-month period.
In addition, the survey of more than 2,300 U.S. CIOs found that fewer are planning to reduce or freeze hiring in the first half of 2014. Just 15 percent said they plan to put IT hiring on hold, down from 21 percent in the past six months, and just 2 percent said they plan to reduce their IT staff, down from 5 percent in July.
Still, CIOs are not expecting those open jobs to be easy to fill. The majority (63 percent) said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, though that number is down from 68 percent in the last half of 2013. It is most challenging to find skilled talent in the functional areas of networking (17 percent), security (14 percent) and help desk/technical support (13 percent).
More than half (57 percent) of technology executives said that network administration is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Windows administration and desktop support also are in high demand, each with 51 percent of the response.
“We continue to see strong demand for IT professionals from across the United States,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Professionals with skills in mobile applications development, data analytics and networking are in especially high demand.”