Tech grads in demand with recruiters in 2010

And budding techies are quids in as starting salaries set to soar
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

And budding techies are quids in as starting salaries set to soar

Demand for tech graduates is predicted to rise by around a fifth this year, according to research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

The AGR's latest Graduate Recruitment Survey shows the majority of business sectors are anticipating an increase in the number of vacancies for grads this year, with the IT hardware and software sector projecting a 20.5 per cent rise. This compares favourably to various sectors including investment banking/fund management (16.2 per cent projected rise), engineering (10.3 per cent) and law (7.4 per cent).

Sectors set to outstrip IT in recruiting grads include banking, retail, construction and consultancy and business services.

Graduates seeking to work in the IT and telecoms sector also have reason to smile about starting salaries, as tech companies are projecting a rise in median starting salaries of 5.6 per cent - the third highest rise by sector. This is set against the majority of sectors which are predicting stagnation in starting salary for new recruits in 2010.

The AGR survey also shows IT jobs accounted for 7.6 per cent of vacancies tracked last year - the fifth most job-rich area for grads, behind accountancy (14.8 per cent); general management (14 per cent); investment banking (9.6 per cent); and legal work (8.5 per cent).

In 2009 IT grads were again able to command the fifth highest starting salary: an average of £26k, which is however £500 down slightly on 2008's figure, according to the research.

The highest average grad starting salary in 2009 was £38,250 - the starter wage in the investment banking arena.


(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Unsurprisingly more male graduates than females were recruited by IT and telecoms companies last year. The survey records a gender split of 66.4 per cent men, to 33.6 per cent women. This is, however, a more equal gender ratio of grads than seven other sectors, including the public sector - which had a gender split of 72.7 per cent male grads to 27.3 per cent female in 2009.

Recent research conducted by IT sector skills body e-skills UK predicts the number of IT and telecoms pros employed in the UK will grow at an average of four times the national rate over the next 10 years. According to e-skills UK the IT and telecoms sector requires more than 110,000 new entrants each year - of which it says 21,000 come directly from education.

The IT and telecoms professional workforce has grown at twice the national average over the past eight years - and now comprises 1.1 million people, e-skills UK says.

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