IT departments are also hiring permanent and contract staff to work on infrastructure upgrades that they had avoided during the recession. "A lot of companies had put infrastructure projects on hold," says Genzler. "You can only hold on so long before you have to roll out new PCs or move to Windows 7."
Regulatory compliance and the consumerization of IT are additional factors influencing IT hiring. Genzler says companies in the financial services industry are hiring application developers who can get their systems into compliance with new financial regulations. Companies also need software engineers to develop new iPad applications, says Capperella.
"The commercialization of consumer products is something that companies, whether they like it or not, are forced to respond to," he says.
The specific IT skills that staffing executives say are most in demand--and that are commanding the highest pay rates--include Java, C#, PHP, Ruby on Rails, .NET, SQL and Oracle DBAs. Genzler says Technisource's clients are looking for mid- to senior-level IT professionals with those skills. Companies are also seeking business analysts, network engineers and project managers, they say.
The Effect on IT Salaries and Wages
The increased demand for contact and permanent IT staff, especially in the area of web application development, is starting to have a positive effect on wages.
"What we're seeing our clients paying for full-time positions is typically higher than what the market paid over the last two to three years," says Modis's Cullen. "A company that paid $139,000 a year for a Java developer is now looking at paying more for that talent."
Cullen adds that as IT hiring heats up, companies are going to have to pay to recruit top talent. He says he's seen IT workers with Java, SAP, .NET, C#, project management and business analysis skills boost their pay between 10 and 20% by moving on to new opportunities.
Aside from those bumps in pay, none of the staffing industry executives that CIO.com interviewed for this article predict IT salaries and wages will skyrocket. "You'll see continued, moderate increases in the price of talent," says Cullen. "We knew last year when the [stock] market started doing better, wages would improve as more jobs were created. If the market continues to stay hot, wages will slowly continue to rise. We're slowly getting back to where the numbers were before the recession."