November 16, 2010, 7:07 PM — It hasn't been that long since September, but the three percent increase in IT hiring CIOs expected for this year doesn't appear to have shown up yet. Or at least it hasn't seemed to make much of a difference.
The prediction was from Robert Half International's quarterly giant survey of CIOs, which was published in early September.
CIOs were optimistic then. The sun was shining; the clouds were airborne water vapor, not abstracted data-center infrastructure, and IT departments had just gotten through three months they expected would see 6 percent growth in IT hiring, but didn't.
Not for lack of optimism, though; 84 percent of CIOs expected their companies to do well during the fourth quarter.
Productivity increased during the fall. The Wall Street Journal thought that meant good things on the hiring front.
ERP geeks? Your salaries are going up 5.2 percent. Business intelligence? 5 percent. Data modelers? 4.5 percent
Network managers' salaries will rise 4.3 percent, which is strange, because it's the highest-demand skill on RHI's hiring survey.
In both reports RHI gets annoyingly vague when it comes to getting enough detail to figure your specific situation. Even "network manager" can a pretty broad descriptor -- anything from keeping a biggish LAN running in a branch office to maintaining and optimizing the SAN/WAN/virtual infrastructure and virtual network connections in the data center.
It's pretty clear anything virtual is going to get you a gig. Learn to build, configure and manage virtual servers, desktops, streaming and remote-access apps. Figure out ways to connect the security, identity management and data-access tracking and auditing software to any of the above and they will staple your feet to the floor and feed you pizza with a silver fork.
You won't get a raise, because they spent the budget on pizza and forks, but they'll be really nice to you.