Biannual CIO Survey Ranks IT Specialties by U.S. Region and Industry

Nov 9, 2000

MENLO PARK, CA -- Internet/intranet development and networking are the job categories most in demand according to chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed for the semiannual RHI Consulting Hot Jobs Report. The two specialties were cited by an equal number (20 percent) of technology executives as the leading growth area within their IT departments. Help desk/end-user support was identified as the next most sought-after specialty, receiving 17 percent of the response.

The Hot Jobs Report tracks job growth in information technology through a survey of more than 1,400 CIOs nationwide. The study was developed by RHI Consulting and conducted by an independent research firm, which polled CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. RHI Consulting is a leading specialized consulting services firm placing information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

The seven specialty areas experiencing the strongest growth in U.S. corporate IT departments, as ranked by CIOs, are:

Internet/intranet development 20%
Networking 20%
Help desk/end-user support 17%
Applications development 12%
Data/database management 9%
Project management 5%
Systems analysis 3%
Other/don't know   14%

"As firms develop and implement new online applications, they must ensure the security and stability of the networks on which information and data reside," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting. "Therefore, as traffic on public networks increases, demand for both Internet development and networking experts will continue to grow."

Within the networking category, technology executives said they have the greatest need for systems analysts, security specialists and network engineers. The hottest job titles among CIOs who cited Internet/intranet development as their leading growth area are web developer, e-commerce strategist and webmaster.

Experienced help desk support professionals are also highly sought after. "As companies shift business processes online, technology is moving closer to the end user. This is fueling demand for those skilled in supporting and training internal and external customers," Lee said. The hottest job titles in the technical support category include help desk analyst and manager, systems administrator, and technical trainer.

Regional Overview

While Internet/intranet development and networking were in a virtual tie in most areas of the United States, in the Middle-Atlantic1 region, web-related expertise was the dominant job category. Thirty-two percent of technology executives in these states cited Internet development as the fastest-growing area within their departments, 12 percentage points above the national average.

"Expansion within the region's high-tech and financial services industries is resulting in demand for individuals who can develop and implement web-based business applications. In particular, companies are actively recruiting programmers and e-business analysts," Lee said.

Two geographic regions in which networking was listed as the hottest job category are New England2 and the East North Central states, where 25 percent of CIOs ranked this specialty as the fastest growing. Within this category, there is an ongoing need for systems architects, network managers and security analysts.

Lee noted that help desk/end-user support professionals will experience the greatest demand in the Middle-Atlantic region. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported an increase in job opportunities within this specialty. Help desk specialists are also highly sought after in the New England states, where 23 percent of CIOs cited technical support as their fastest-growing IT specialty, after networking.

Industry Overview

Finance, insurance and real estate firms are experiencing strong demand for Internet development specialists, according to 27 percent of CIOs surveyed. "In an effort to enhance customer service and reduce expenditures, firms within this sector are continuing to offer new services online," Lee said.

The transportation and retail industries are seeing the greatest expansion within the networking category, according to the survey. Thirty-nine percent and 29 percent of CIOs, respectively, said networking is leading job growth within their departments.

The following charts provide breakdowns by region and industry:

Hottest IT Specialties November 2000

Hottest IT Specialties: Two-Year History

Specialties Experiencing Strongest Demand

RHI Consulting is a leading provider of technology professionals for the Internet economy. With over 100 locations in North America, Europe and Australia, the company offers specialized consulting services, on a project or full-time basis, for IT initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support. For more information about RHI Consulting or to learn about online job search opportunities, please visit

1 New Jerssey, New York, Pennsylvania
2 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
3 Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin


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