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IT graduates face a "grim" future as the UK's jobs market continues to show little sign of improvement.

A report by specialist publishers, GTI, does not make chirpy reading for IT grads looking to enter the world of work.

Says its Graduate Trends Survey 2003/4: "This year sees once again the nightmare scenario of thousands of well-qualified IT graduates looking forward to an uncertain future that they could not have imagined when they started their degrees three or four years ago."

According to the report, there are more graduates chasing fewer vacancies, with the average number of vacancies, and the actual number on offer, falling further. One measly crumb of comfort is that the rate of decline has slowed.

Even those lucky enough to find work face a tough time, with the average starting salary falling from £24,764 to £24,000.

Overall, GTI reckons there is "no real sign of confidence returning to the sector" and predicts that the average number of vacancies is set to fall again next year.

"This year's survey results continue to make grim reading but a touch less grim than last year," said the report. ®

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