Demand for IT professionals rises

Growth in the number of IT positions being advertised has leapt to its highest level in five years

The demand for IT professionals is on the increase, and employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

According to a survey from Salary Services Limited (SSL), over the last six months 122,987 IT vacancies have been advertised as the employment market recovers from its blues. The SSL research, which is published jointly with Computer Weekly, shows that demand for people to fill management positions has grown by 20 percent over the last three months. The requirement for people with SAP skills — an area of the market that had gone very quiet over recent years — grew by 18 percent for project managers, almost double the number 12 months ago.

The upturn is being driven by the need for skilled staff for software houses and by the financial sector, SSL says. These two sectors account for 78 percent of the advertised permanent jobs.

The positive news follows a report earlier this month that suggested the UK is struggling because it lacks the necessary skills for a successful knowledge economy. That report from the Department of Trade and Industry — called Delivering i2010 — argued that instead of pursuing the appointment of employees with relatively simple IT skills, the IT sector in the UK should instead concentrate on the "high end" of the IT industry.

Publication of the report followed a European Union drive to stimulate development in the IT industry.