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Graduate salaries in the IT sector are on the up in spite of a significant fall in the number of vacancies on offer.

So says the latest Graduate Trends Survey from careers publishers GTI, which found that those lucky enough to find work were often paid well.

This is because despite the downturn, companies are prepared to pay for the best graduates on offer.

According to the survey the average starting salary of IT sector graduates rose to £24,764 in 2002, up from £22,716 in 2001. Nearly half of the 50 IT employers surveyed said that they now offer starting salaries of between £21,000 and £25,000.

Although this is encouraging, there are concerns for graduates who specialise in computer science or IT.

For it seems the industry is accepting more and more graduates from backgrounds other that IT, with the survey finding that demand for computer scientists had fallen in the last four years from 73 per cent to 31 per cent. And this at a time when the number of IT-specific courses is rising.

The report noted that the number of applications per vacancy has increased from 17 in 2001 to 22 in 2002. ®

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