Chief information officers anticipate a net 10 percent increase in the hiring of information technology (IT) professionals in the second quarter of 2002, according to a survey from RHI Consulting.

Fourteen percent of the executives surveyed plan to expand their IT departments and four percent expect staff reductions. The net 10 percent increase is down one percentage point from the previous quarter’s forecast. The majority of CIOs (81 percent) plan no change in hiring activity, up from 78 percent in the first quarter of 2002.The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs.

"Businesses remain cautious in their hiring efforts," says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting. "Companies are primarily focused on technology initiatives that offer bottom-line benefits, such as improved operational efficiencies, reduced spending over the long term or increased productivity."

Network security issues are also a high priority, Lee added. "There is strong demand nationwide for hands-on information security professionals who can implement firewalls, monitor systems for security breaches and guard against unauthorized use of servers."

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