Networking once again tops the list of skills most in demand by the nation's chief information officers (CIOs). In the semi-annual RHI Consulting Hot Jobs Report, 18 percent of information technology (IT) executives said networking is the fastest-growing job specialty within their departments. Internet/intranet development was identified as the second most sought-after area of expertise, receiving 14 percent of the response. Data/database management ranked third with 12 percent.

"Networking expertise remains critical within IT departments as firms depend on their internal systems to share data companywide," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting. "In particular, demand continues to grow for professionals experienced in identifying and protecting against security breaches." The job titles most requested within this category include network engineer, systems analyst and network security specialist.

Lee noted that demand for network security experts is driving up compensation in this specialty.

Within the Internet/intranet development category, IT executives most often cited web developer and designer as the positions showing the fastest growth. "Companies continue to rely on the web to expedite operations and reduce costs," Lee said. "They seek individuals skilled in active server pages, Javascript, and XML to develop and maintain these systems."

Lee added that database management continues to experience growth within IT departments as companies look to collect, store, analyze and leverage data housed within their internal systems. Job titles requested most frequently within the category include database manager, administrator and data architect.

Reflecting the current slowdown in technology hiring, 8 percent of CIOs surveyed said their departments would not be experiencing growth within any IT specialty.

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