Hiring for IT jobs continues on the upswing in the U.S. and Canada as recessionary gloom gives way to cautious optimism, according to various recent polls of employers, who cite networking, security, virtualization and database skills as among the most sought-after.
"Overall, employer confidence is improving," said Tom Silver, senior vice president, North America, at Dice Holdings, which operates Dice.com, a technology and engineering careers website. "We hear that as we speak to our customers every day."
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The most recent edition of The Dice Report, which heard from 600 respondents across the U.S. who hire or recruit technology professionals, found that 71 percent expect to add more employees in the second half of the year than they did in the first. More than half of that 71 percent expect to hire 10 or more new IT staff members. Likewise, CDW's IT Monitor has had similar findings in its surveys across the U.S. and in some areas of Canada.
The IT Monitor recently found that 37 percent of IT decision makers at large companies expect to hire more IT staff in the rest of the year, which is up 11 percentage points from a year ago -- the size of the increase was "a much faster jump than I would have expected to see," said Matt Troka, CDW vice president of product and partner management and acting CMO.
While the percentage jump could be "just in the timing" of the most recent IT Monitor survey, it follows expected spending increases for hardware and software that CDW has been tracking. Many companies delayed replacement and upgrade cycles during the Great Recession, which slogged on from the credit crisis at the end of 2007 until slow recovery started to take hold only recently. While the trend of increased IT spending followed by increased IT hiring has been found in the past, the most recent survey data shows hiring plans following "more directly" on the heels of spending, Troka said.
"I think the refresh cycle is a main driver here," Troka said, adding that CDW has found "huge growth" in networking in particular, spurred by companies replacing network hardware before this year is out.
CDW also found that 29 percent of respondents in the U.S. government sector expect to add additional IT staff, up 9 percent from April. Other recent survey results from firms that track IT hiring and spending show a continuation of the trends found in the first and second quarters. For instance, the Boston Globe in April reported on expected hiring increases at technology companies in the area as well as nationally, citing the need to add staff as product development and other growth plans move forward after being on hold during the recession.