CIOs foresee shortage of skilled information security professionals

The survey of 1400 CIOs in the US found that 11% plan to hire additional IT staff in the first three months of 2011, and only 3% expect to cut staff. This net 8% increase in hiring activity is up 5% from the previous quarter’s forecast.

The CIOs expect skilled information security professionals, as well as network administrators and software developers, to be in short supply. More than half said it is very or somewhat challenging to find skilled IT professionals.

An encouraging 84% of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies’ growth prospects; 35% are very confident about growth.

John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, commented that “CIOs are reinitiating previously deferred projects and are more willing to invest in augmenting their teams."

CIOs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas are expected to be hiring most actively. In addition, CIOs in the health services industry are most likely to hire in the first quarter; 18% plan to expand their IT departments and none foresee staff reductions.

Professional services is another sector with hiring expectations above the national average. Thirteen percent of CIOs anticipate adding staff and 2% expect to reduce personnel, for a net 11% increase in hiring activity.

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