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Java is skill in most demand in UK, Windows down

C++ starting to fall

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Java appears to be the most sought after IT skill in the UK.

The SSP/Computer Weekly Q2 survey of appointments data and trends, based on what employers were seeking in trade press and national newspaper ads, showed that C++ was still top. However, it was down 36 per cent compared with the year-earlier quarter while second-place Java was up 70 per cent, so Java has probably now passed C++.

Cobol programmers who had their last fling in the Y2K non-event would be well advised to learn Java, because there's been an 88 percent decrease in demand for their particular expertise.

You might well have thought that Unix was in decline as well, and Windows rising - but that's not what the survey shows. Unix is in fourth place (behind "Internet"), although it is 48 per cent down compared with the previous year, with Solaris is up 56 per cent. The big surprise is that the demand for Windows NT is down 61 per cent, and Windows (unspecified) is down 79 per cent.

There's further bad news for those ticking the multiple choice boxes of Microsoft's certification examinations in the hope of landing better jobs: SQL, Visual Basic and Access skills are all less in demand than a year ago.

So what else is in demand? The biggest surprise is CORBA: it has gone from off-the-radar to 14th place, with 727 mentions in ads. Ada is another curious skill in demand - up 44 percent.

The number of jobs analysed has dropped 46 percent compared with a year ago, which no doubt reflects there's more advertising on the Internet rather than a sharp downturn in the job market. ®

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