CIOs in the city

Projects such as Philadelphia's citywide wireless LAN kept legislators, lawyers and lobbyists busy at the end of last year, but are also fueling demand for City CIOs in the US. That job title has found itself a spot on executive search firm Christian & Timbers' list of Hot Jobs for 2005.

"Significant investments are being made in RFID, wireless and homeland security, and career-making opportunities will be made in these industries," says Adam Kohn, vice chairman of Christian & Timbers. His firm's annual predictions are meant to serve as a leading indicator of jobs in demand.

The need for city CIOs is being driven by mayors looking to implement municipal wireless broadband networks for a new revenue stream or economic development edge. Cities such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chaska, Minn., are just a few areas taking broadband availability into their own hands by implementing wireless services and districts within their borders. As the trend grows, cities will hire people with backgrounds in technology and urban planning to design, deploy and manage these wireless districts.

According to the Christian & Timbers report, metro broadband wireless will drive demand for vice presidents of product development and stir up the spectrum debate, guaranteeing more work for lobbyists.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is another driving force for tech employment. Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense are redefining the supply chain with RFID mandates that go into effect in 2005. Manufacturers and suppliers will need Chief RFID Strategists to incorporate RFID into their processes or products. A RFID Chief Strategist will design and implement RFID systems across platforms and the supply chain.

Finally, regulatory requirements and security continue to be challenges. Chief Information Security Officer, Director of Homeland Security Business Development and Chief Security Officer round out the rest of the technical positions on the Hot Jobs list.

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