Demand for IT workers has risen by eight per cent in the past three months, the fourth rise in as many quarters and the fastest growth rate for three years, as companies in the private sector increase spending on IT.
The figures, from employment web sites CWJobs.co.uk and JobsAdWatch.co.uk, show that the IT sector remains buoyant despite a drop of 21 per cent in the number of public sector jobs being advertised.
The strong growth is mainly due to a return to pre-recession spending in key private sectors, notably finance and media, according to CWJobs sales director Sean Mullins.
"About a year ago it was the public sector that was shoring up the private sector, but now this has completely reversed and we are seeing strong growth in sectors that last year completely stagnated," he said.
"Workers in the public sector need to be more flexible and accept the current situation. With contract jobs still around, it could well be the case that they need to forego the search for a permanent job for the time being."
Mullins noted that software developers had seen a 3.3 per cent rise in average pay, indicating a growing demand for their services.
"With new technologies like high-definition TV and mobile computing growing rapidly, there is a need for firms to stay up to date with the services they offer. Furthermore, firms that cut back on development a year ago now need to reinvest to stay up to date," he said.
Required skills sets are also changing, according to the research, and Linux now features more regularly than Unix in temporary roles. SQL remains the most sought-after capability for permanent and temporary roles.
Overall, the public sector dropped from fourth to fifth for the number of permanent jobs advertised, ranking behind finance, retail, media and manufacturing. The public sector ranked second behind finance for contract jobs.
Top skills cited in advertisements for permanent IT workers:
5. SQL Server
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