Feeling anxious about your employment prospects in 2018? Take heart in a new survey from Spiceworks, which suggests many companies will spend more on technology next year—which often translates into more jobs (as well as opportunities to advance within an organization). Spiceworks interviewed 1,000 tech pros, including IT managers, sysadmins, and CIOs. Around 44 percent of those respondents expected their IT budgets to increase next year, and nearly as many (43 percent) saw no change. Only 11 percent anticipated any sort of decrease. The survey also delved into anticipated hiring for next year, and the results were similarly optimistic. Around 45 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in tech staff, while 48 percent saw no change; only 5 expected a decrease (and 2 percent didn’t know). “In 2018, more IT departments will swell in size than shrink. And the mega vessels (larger companies) forecast the biggest boost in staffing,” Spiceworks wrote in the report accompanying the data. “More than 60 percent of companies with 500+ employees expect to increase IT staff while 70 percent of large enterprises (5000+) report they’ll hire more IT pros in 2018.” According to the survey, tech-spending drivers include end-of-life milestones (54 percent), company growth (53 percent), upgrades/refresh cycles (49 percent), and end-user or project needs (46 and 45 percent, respectively). Dice has seen high salaries for tech pros across the spectrum, especially in areas of high demand such as Silicon Valley and New York City. Combine that with Spiceworks’ latest analysis, and it’s possible that the strong market for tech pros is unlikely to subside in the near term. When companies spend money on technology, they’re not just buying hardware or services; they have a pressing need for employees who can not only operate those new toys, but use them to generate some sort of business value. The most opportunities, of course, are available to those folks who keep their skills up-to-date. Just because there’s a hiring spree among certain industries doesn’t mean even the most specialized tech pros can afford to slack off when it comes to education.