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Tech Sector Hits Hiring Trail

Stocks in this article: SYMC NTGR AKAM CTSH BMC MERU FIO

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Underwhelmed by the latest jobs report? Then take a glance at the U.S. tech sector, where heavy hitters are painting a much rosier employment picture.

"We continue to hire and are always looking for qualified people," James Beer, the CFO of software giant Symantec (SYMC)," told TheStreet. "We're not forecasting specific hiring targets, but as anyone can see on our website, we have a number of positions open and are indeed hiring, particularly in the area of engineering."

Silicon Valley has hit the hiring trail.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which reported record second-quarter revenue last week, has seen continued demand for its security and storage software.

Recent research has pointed to a slowdown in U.S. high-tech job losses, with software cited as the healthiest part of the market.

"The biggest demand in our workforce is software engineers," said Patrick Lo, CEO of San Jose-based wireless networking specialist Netgear (NTGR). "I know that the nation is going through the pain of 9% unemployment, but in Silicon Valley, you just don't feel it."

It's not just the Bay Area, though, that offers employment opportunities. Netgear, which recruits nationwide, also has thriving development centers in Chicago and Atlanta, according to Lo.

Gordon Coburn, the CFO of Teaneck, N.J.-based IT consulting and services firm Cognizant (CTSH) has also been chasing talent. "During the third quarter, we increased our headcount by 12,000 sequentially - we're up to 130,000 people worldwide ," he said. "It's fueled by demand from our clients for our services -- a lot of clients are investing in technology after a couple of years where they have scaled back investments."

Coburn added that, with more than 20,000 of the company's workforce in America, Cognizant will continue to "hire aggressively" in the U.S.

A recent survey of 1,400 U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) and 360 of their Canadian counterparts also pointed to a robust tech recruitment climate. The study, which was conducted by staffing company Robert Half Technology, forecast a 6% net increase in tech hiring during the fourth quarter of 2011, up 2 percentage points from the prior quarter.

Tellingly, some 66% of CIOs also said it's challenging to find skilled professionals, up 18 points sequentially.

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