Demand for high-level IT professionals will grow over the next ten years, unlike other sectors, according to the IT and Telecoms Insights 2008 Employment Forecast report produced by e-skills UK.

The report says employment growth in the IT sector will be 2.5 per cent to 2016, compared with only 0.5 per cent in the UK workforce overall. Around one in twenty of UK's workforce are employed in the IT and telecommunications industries, according to the report, which suggests that IT-based careers are better protected from the effects of the current economic uncertainty.

James Toovey, managing director of recruitment firm Langley James, supported the findings and predicted many people will switch professions and enter the IT sector. "Our clients show a distinct preference for experienced staff, and so people may find that they need to extend their skill set and swap sectors if they want to stay competitive in the job market."

High demand for IT professionals has also put upward pressure on IT salaries with wages for permanent IT positions rising by over four percent in the last year.

"We have seen an encouraging trend of rising salaries in a range of IT jobs in the first half of 2008," said Toovey. This increase means that the average annual wage for IT professionals now stands at £34,217.

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