The market for information technology professionals may be tight because of slow market conditions, but chief information officers still say their demand for networking professionals is strong. In a recent nationwide survey by RHIC Consulting, 24 percent of all CIOs polled named network specialists as the worker they were most in need of.

That compares with 18 percent for Internet/intranet development talent, 15 percent for help desk/end-user support and 12 percent for data management administrators and applications developers. "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," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting. Within the networking category, CIOs said they have the greatest need for network administrators, architects and analysts, according to the survey.

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