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Demand for IT Skills Set to Rise

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Demand for IT skills is riding high with more than half of IT managers expecting to recruit this year.

In a survey of 500 IT professionals, 56% of managers said they expected to take on more staff in 2004 – double last year's figure of 28%.

Further signs of buoyancy were shown in the large number of IT vacancies during the first quarter of 2004 – the highest for over 18 months.

Hotspots were central and greater London, with significant growth taking place in the North East. Banking and finance was the largest growing sector for recruitment.

The survey by Computer People found that despite the increase in recruitment, salaries in the industry remain fairly static, with increases of between 0 – 6% over the last year, however IT professionals can expect to receive 26% above the average UK wage.

Graduates in IT could earn up to £24,000 in London or the South-East, £3,000 above the average according to Computer People, while those in the North could expect to start on £20,000.

At the top of the scale the north-south divide reverses, with IT directors earning up to £150,000 in the North compared to £140,000 in London.

Jane Binner, associate director of Computer People, said: "Since the beginning of 2004 the IT industry has experienced demand for recruitment services that has not been seen since the end of the 1990s. This makes it an extremely exciting time to join the industry."

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