Network Specialists in High Demand

In an age where networks mean smoother and faster operations, network specialists are increasingly sought after by companies looking for an edge.
If you want to know what the hottest and most sought after IT jobs are these days, just ask the country's chief information officers. A new study recently published by RHI Consulting reveals that network specialists are leading the pack.

In a survey of more than 1,400 CIOs in companies with more than 100 employees, nationwide the greatest need for technology staff is in the area of networking, followed closely by Internet/intranet development and help desk support.

It's no industry secret that many dot-coms and companies that sell services and products to the dot-coms have been facing a large number of layoffs or just plain shutdowns. Two of the two latest casualties are flooz.com and beenz.com, both of which announced last month their intentions to close up shop.

But that doesn't mean that IT workers should be scared into looking for new sources of income. The traditional brick-and-mortar companies are still running strong, and those companies need the technology staff to handle the technology that they use to continue running their businesses.

In today's economy, it would be difficult to find a large company that does not rely heavily on its technology resources, particularly networks. The semi-annual RHI Consulting Hot Jobs Report has repeatedly found that the need for networking specialists is steadily growing in every region of the country.

Nationwide, the CIO survey respondents indicated the following areas of the most growth:

  • Networking - 24%
  • Internet/intranet development - 18%
  • Help desk/end-user support - 15%
  • Data/database management - 12%
  • Applications development - 12%
  • Project management - 7%
  • Systems analysis - 3%
  • Other - 9%

Executives are justifiably worried about the security of their corporate networks, which may explain the demand for network specialists. The demand for network specialists is also a result of the increased capabilities of networks. No longer simply ways to send interoffice e-mails, corporate networks are being used for everything from teleconferencing to integrating data, voice and video.

"Factors fueling demand for those skilled in designing and managing internal and external networks include an increasingly mobile workforce and an emphasis on safeguarding corporate systems," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting.

According to Lee, Internet/intranet development ranked second in importance because of the recent explosion of Web-based applications. "The popularity of XML-based software has resulted in the need for developers with experience designing Web-based applications," Lee said.

Among IT executives who listed this specialty as their strongest area of job growth, the job titles cited most frequently included Web developer, Web designer and Web administrator.

One specialty gaining momentum according to the semi-annual survey is database management, with 12 percent of CIOs saying this is their leading area of job growth, up from 9 percent six months ago. Lee said, "There is growing demand for individuals accomplished in Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server administration to translate the massive amounts of data collected by today's e-commerce applications into business intelligence that will aid decision makers throughout the company."

Networks have become the foundation for smooth operations, and it is the network specialists who are in high demand in today's IT labor market.

Chris Pace writes for Internet Career Resources, an internet.com site where this story first appeared.






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