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Cockle-warming stats from the UK jobs market show that job openings for techies went up at the end of 2012 and that opportunities in the well-paying financial IT sector rose for the first time in six months.

Permanent IT jobs advertised in the UK went up 6 per cent in the last three months of 2012 compared to the year before, with the research compiled by CWJobs from all main jobs sites showing that a total of 99,417 vacancies were advertised in the three months to December 2012.

The financial sector, which offers some of the best-paid jobs in IT, reversed its hiring decline of the last two quarters and job postings were up 0.9 per cent from Q3 and up 4.6 per cent from where they were at the end of 2011. There were 15,731 jobs advertised in financial tech this year.

However, it's not quite a return to the pre-recession glory days and business caution can be seen in the tendency of business to outsource IT to software houses rather than bringing the IT guy in-house.

It means that the companies that pick up that outsourced IT work - software houses - are doing well and hiring, and that is where the majority of opportunities are for IT pros looking for their next job.

Jobs at software houses made up a staggering 64 per cent of all vacancies advertised in the last three months of 2012: 47,676 jobs. It's an increase of 6.3 per cent year-on-year.

IT jobs in manufacturing and media were also up slightly, and the public sector was the only area where permanent job postings actually fell: by 3.4 per cent to a measly 573 jobs advertised in Q4. Contract work was up across all sectors.

As for the skills in demand, database language SQL still tops the list, and C# and C round out the top three. .NET was the fourth most in-demand job skill, with Java, JavaScript and SQL Server languages also requested.

So if you're a SQL developer looking for a post in a software house, the stats are in your favour. ®

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