Looking for a job in IT in the Triangle? Your prospects are a bit tougher entering 2014.

They are only slightly better – if at all – in Charlotte.

Only 9 percent of chief information officers in the Raleigh metro area are planning to expand their information technology teams in 2014. That’s down from 15 percent from the second half of 2013, says IT talent management firm Robert Half Technology.

“IT professionals with network administration, desktop support and database management skills continue to be highly sought in Raleigh,” said Chris McCrea, Raleigh regional vice president of Robert Half Technology. “We’re seeing strong hiring activity in the healthcare, biotech, education and insurance industries, among others.”

However, the overall news is not as positive.

Based on a survey of 100 CIOs, Robert Half reported that while fewer CIOs (1 percent) are planning layoffs (that’s down from 4 percent in the previous survey), 65 percent say they plan only to fill open positions and 23 have put hiring plans “on hold.” Those percentages compare to 60 percent and 23 percent respectively in the previous survey.

Overall confidence is mixed.

Some 84 percent of CIOs are “somewhat or very confident” about their own company’s prospects for growth in the first half of 2014. That’s down a percentage point from the last survey.

However, 70 percent are “confident” their firms will invest in IT projects. That’s up 7 percentage points. 

Skills in demand

CIOs are still looking most of all for network administration (67 percent) followed by desktop support (56 percent) and Windows administration (53 percent).

According to the survey, 63 percent of CIOs also say that it is “somewhat or very challenging” to find IT workers.

Hardest to find are networking (21 percent), help desk and technical support (15 percent) and security (13 percent).

Charlotte market

In Charlotte, meanwhile, only 9 percent of CIOs are planning more hiring. That’s the same as in the previous survey.

Some 69 percent of CIOs are planning to fill only open jobs. That’s up 9 percent from the previous survey.

However, the percentage of CIOs putting hiring plans on hold declined to 20 percent from 25 percent.

Only 2 percent are contemplating layoffs. That’s down from 6 percent in the earlier survey.

 Overall, 87 percent of CIOs are optimistic about their firms’ growth in 2014, and 676 percent expect investment in IT projects.

The big majority (67 percent) of Charlotte area CIOs described as “somewhat or very challenging” to find skilled workers.

The most needed skill is desktop support at 46 percent followed by network administration (41 percent) and database management (37 percent).

Firms are having trouble finding talent for helpdesk/technical support (17 percent). security (17 percent) and applications development (15 percent).