While salaries for IT professionals have been rising steadily for the past few years, those who want to spend it on a lively social life could be in for a disappointment.
A recent survey shows IT has yet to shake off its anorak image among British students, with more than three quarters saying they wouldn't consider IT as a career.
One in seven defined an IT specialist is "a dull nerd to be avoided at parties".
The results of the survey, Get fIT for business, conducted on behalf of IT recruitment firm Apex Computer Recruitment, make depressing reading - and not just for IT specialists hoping to go to parties. While the IT industry is currently suffering its worst ever skills crisis, the failure to attract new recruits will be felt particularly keenly.
"There clearly is an image problem where students and a career in IT is concerned," said psychologist Dr David Lewis, who analysed the survey results on behalf of Apex. He believes the problem is the way computer people are portrayed on films and television: "They are often presented as inept individuals, brilliant but socially flawed and probably slightly mad into the bargain."
The survey of over 1,200 students found that 71 per cent regarded IT specialists in a negative light, with more than half - 57 per cent - regarding them as "clever but lacking in social skills". Around 14 per cent of students would actively avoid them.
Of the 76 per cent of students who said they had not considered a career in IT, one in 10 believe "only nerds want to work with computers", while a quarter regarded it as too technical and complicated.
The overhwleming majority of students - 93 per cent - did see IT as essential to modern business however, and was considered as important as finance, marketing and production.
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