Having multiple programming languages can yield up to £10,000 more a year for IT professionals, according to research.

IT recruiter Greythorn questioned job candidates and found that two-thirds believed that knowing more than one programming language was an essential skill for IT professionals to have in the current market, and that much higher salaries were paid in return.

Greythorn said it currently had to "scour the globe" for candidates with the right skills.

"Where new languages create cost-savings or greater utility for employers, demand can spring up almost overnight for people who can use them,” it said.

According to Charlie Setoodeh, senior consultant at Greythorn, the “proliferation” of programming languages such as Scala, Perl and Ruby has “fundamentally” changed the landscape for IT professionals.

"Many companies, especially in London, are looking for flexible employees, sometimes requiring knowledge of three or four languages, with a blend of niche and traditional expertise,” said Setoodeh.

Rival IT recruitment agency CV Screen said this week that there were skills shortages in .NET, Java, PHP and eCommerce, with higher salaries being offered as a result.

The latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG, also confirmed that IT developer skills were in short supply.