Companies to add IT jobs in Q4 despite the slow economy

More CIOs plan to increase rather than decrease their IT staffing levels from October through December 2008, according to a survey of companies' CIOs in multiple major US cities, released today.

If you're looking for an IT job, the transportation industry, the Middle Atlantic States, help desk/tech support, network management, and Windows administration are all potential hot spots, according to Robert Half's latest Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report.

Although 83% of CIOs will be maintaining current staffing levels, 11% will add more IT staff in the fourth quarter of this year, whereas only three percent will cut IT jobs, the survey says. Still, the net increase of 8% compares somewhat unfavorably with a 10% net increase projected by CIOs last quarter.

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Why will some of the CIOs be hiring in the fourth quarter, though? More CIOs (25%) cited needs for customer and/or end-user support as opposed to "business growth" (23%) since CIOs were first asked this question by the survey firm back in 2003.

Landing in third place this time at 21% was the response, "Installation of new enterprise-wide applications."

In terms of skills in demand, LAN/WAN administration came out on top at 70%, followed by Windows Server administration and Windows desktop support, which tied at 69% each.

Yet as the job area experiencing the most growth, 18% of the more than 1,400 CIOs surveyed cited help desk/tech support, 14% named networking, and 11% pointed to data/database management.

CIOs in the Middle Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania turned out to be the most upbeat about fourth-quarter hiring. A total of 16% of this group expected to expand their IT staffing levels, while only 1% predicted cutbacks, for a net increase of 15% -- amounting to 7% above the national average.

Following closely after the Middle Atlantic were the East North Central states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In those five states, 14% of the CIOs planned to add jobs, while 2% foresaw reductions.

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