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IT newcomers turn to web for guidance

Web 2.0 and social networking are changing the way young people look for and embark on careers, according to research commissioned by recruiter Harvey Nash and carried out by research firm YouGov.

The survey showed many lack direction and support in their career development and are turning to the internet for guidance.

The IT industry, especially, provides little help for newcomers, Harvey Nash chief executive, Albert Ellis, said.

"The IT industry, on the technical side, is very poorly advised from a career point of view. This is compared to accountancy, for example, where there is lots of structure and advice," he said.

Ellis advised young workers to speak to head-hunters.

"IT is a new profession and there is not very much around at all. We are looking at that, and seeing if we can fill the gap. The best source of advice is recruiters and headhunters, and workers should make use of their knowledge. They understand what is in demand, and it is a good idea to keep a dialogue with them," Ellis said.

Two-thirds of the 1,054 young workers quizzed during the YouGov research had not decided on a career by the time they left full-time education, and were unsure where to turn for careers advice.

The survey showed that they are increasingly likely to use social networking sites such as Facebook or Bebo, with the survey reporting that a quarter would use networking and a third consulting online forums or blogs.

Ellis said, "The rudderless approach young people are taking to the early stage of their careers has a serious knock-on effect for business. We need to engage young people in their career choices early."





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