Survey Indicates Strong Demand for Networking Talent

In a survey of CIOs, network admin skills -- particularly, expertise with Cisco, Nortel and other networking technologies -- continue to be in strong demand.

Last month, IT staffing specialist Robert Half Technology published the latest edition of its quarterly CIO survey. Every three months, Robert Half queries North American CIOs to determine their hiring plans for the coming quarter.

Past surveys have had particularly good news for Cisco certified professionals, and Robert Half's most recent study -- which does suggest increasing pessimism on the part of enterprise CIOs -- is no different.

According to Robert Half officials, for example, network administration skills -- and particularly expertise with technologies from Cisco Systems Inc., Nortel Networks, and other networking high-fliers -- continue to be in strong demand.

"Companies are being judicious with their hiring plans, evaluating economic conditions and business demands before adding full-time IT staff," said Katherine Spencer Lee, an executive director with Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "Organizations are directing recruitment efforts toward professionals who can provide essential services -- such as help desk and networking -- and support the launch of Web 2.0 based functionality."

Overall, Robert Half found that networking skills were most in demand, with 70 percent of CIOs citing a need for additional or enhanced networking expertise.

The survey also suggests that enterprises are having difficulty finding networking talent to address their current growth needs -- i.e., there's a networking skills shortage, with the result that existing jobs are unfilled or unaddressed.

For example, nearly one in five CIOs singled out help desk or tech support as the job segment that's experiencing the most growth. The networking segment -- a perennial growth leader (according to Robert Half, networking had generated the most job growth for more than a year) -- slipped to No. 2, at 14 percent.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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