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Is the Worst Over for the IT Job Market?

You may be excused for your cynical chortling when hearing that IT hiring may be on the way up, but that's what the latest study from a technology staffing company reports.

You may be excused for your cynical chortling when hearing that IT hiring may be on the way up, but that’s what the latest study from a technology staffing company reports.

The international company Robert Half Technology just released the results of a survey that found that 10 percent of the 1,400 CIOs questioned anticipate increasing their IT staffs in the third quarter of this year, while only 3 percent project layoffs.

The news was even better for MCPs. Windows administration was the most in-demand skill among the CIOs by a huge margin. Eighty percent listed Windows expertise as the skill they most value, followed by Cisco administration at 38 percent, Visual Basic development at 29 percent, and Check Point firewall administration at 28 percent.

The obvious question: Can those statistics be accurate, given the wide-ranging perception that the IT job market remains woeful? Yes, said Robert Half Regional Manager Catherine Paredi. “The layoffs are well-publicized, and yes, they are going on. But... hiring is going on on a strategic basis, in order for companies to maintain their systems and market share and to sustain themselves.”

Paredi believes that signals are there to indicate a possible turnaround, but they haven’t been as well publicized. The evidence is there, she said, in “the hiring indexes, and even more importantly, the figures from the analysts and anecdotal evidence from our clients across the country.”

Turning to the impact of certification on a job-seeker’s hunt, Paredi said experience remains the key, but certification can play a role. “Actual work experience, at this point in time, is taking precedence over whether or not someone is certified. If it comes down to a short list of two people, and their qualifications are similar, perhaps a company might lean toward the certified individual.”

Could the numbers show simply a momentary boost? Not likely, said Paredi. “I’m not seeing it as a fluke at all. Across the country, we are starting to see a trend—I’m not saying a jump—toward growth. What I’m seeing [from companies] is definite need, definite buying signals.”

The survey report can be found at www.roberthalftechnology.com/PressRoom.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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