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IT pros need a cuddle - or at least an arm around the shoulder - to let them know just how much they're loved.

So says a survey by online learning outfit, SkillSoft, which found that more than half of IT workers don't feel valued at work.

In fact, three quarters of those quizzed said they were discriminated against because of their age with four in ten saying it was because they were too young. Three in ten said they faced problems at work because they were too old.

Oh, and there's other stuff that details why IT pros might be glum but let's not dwell on these.

Instead, the good news for techies suffering from low self esteem is that their colleagues rate them higher than they think.

For instance, IT pros are "more strategically aware" than their colleagues working in other areas of the business and are more likely to be promoted.

Said SkillSoft's head of research Kay Baldwin-Evans: "It's clear that, despite their own perceptions, IT professionals really are valued at work.

"But organisations would be well advised to make sure their IT personnel are aware of this and reward them by giving them more opportunities to develop during working hours."

Or just give 'em a cuddle - whichever is cheaper.

Research published last year found that IT professionals are a miserable lot with one in ten unhappy in their job. ®

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