But, more than 50 per cent of the 20,000 students who took part in the study from careers information publisher GTI did not intend to look inside the technology sector for employment.

A total of 1,385 students were considering a career in the IT sector, but only 591 of those were taking an IT degree, despite over 1,700 of respondents studying a computer science degree.

Old habits

And this is despite the subject being the fifth most popular choice after engineering, law, business studies, and economics and politics. Also, while other degree courses attracted an even split between the sexes, 70 per cent of students expressing an interest in an IT career were male.

IBM was the most popular employer for those wanting an IT career, heading the list for top choice of workplace and best place for internships and work experience. BT, Accenture, Microsoft and Intel also scored highly.

But mobile operators topped the list of least desirable potential graduate employers. Over one in ten students wanting an IT career said they would not consider working for T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone or O2.