Average salaries for Java and C++ professionals have plummeted by more than 20 per cent since January, despite being the most sought after IT skills by employers.
Unix, SQL Server and Visual Basic have retained their positions at the top of the IT skills league, according to figures from skills analyst TheSkillsMarket, but all have suffered a slump in market value as supply and demand levels out.
TheSkillsMarket director Andrew Charles admitted that the drop in salaries is "huge" and warned that few agencies were reporting month on month increases in IT job placements.
"Recruiters say that the market is bottoming out, but it's not having an effect on rates," he said. "If you're in a job, it's probably not a good idea to risk moving to maximise your revenue unless you're in a niche area."
Technical professionals with Java skills now earn average annual salaries of £32,584, compared with £39,622 in January. At the same time, contract rates have slumped more than 16 per cent to an average hourly rate of £40.83.
Charles explained that the data supported the government's decision to drop C++, Java and Visual Basic from its Skills Shortage list.
"If these skills really are in such shortage, you would expect their market value to increase not decrease," he said.
The news will be another blow to IT professionals, already hard hit by the market downturn.
Almost 70 per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by TheSkillsMarket said that they had been affected by the slowdown. Almost a quarter had been made redundant or suffered a pay cut as a direct result.
But Charles indicated that it was only a matter of time before salaries start to creep up again.
"Salaries are now at the bottom end. There are signs in the market that things are improving, but I think it will take some time before the value of these skills return to what they were," he concluded.
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