Earnings for entry-level IT jobs have declined in real terms in the past five years, while salaries for IT professionals in management roles have continued to beat inflation, research has shown.
The research by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) and on CV serviceiProfile found that pay for first-line IT support staff has remained fixed and second line support pay has increased only 0.8% a year, while managerial-level salaries have increased an average of 20.5% in the past five years.
Salaries for first line support staff have remained fixed at around £18,000, but salaries for project managers have jumped from £37,500 to £45,000 the research found.
ATSCo said the disparity in IT earnings was a direct result of companies outsourcing technical support to lower waged centres such as India.
The gap has widened further because of the increased demand for skilled UK professionals to manage the increasing number of IT projects being outsourced offshore.
iProfile chief executive Rick Backon said sophisticated project management jobs remained firmly rooted in the UK and competition for these jobs was increasing.
Anne Swain, chief executive of ATSCo said, "The outsourcing of entry-level IT jobs has meant fewer graduate-level jobs are available in the UK. It is like removing the bottom rung from the career ladder."
According to ATSCo, the outsourcing trend is acting as a disincentive for Britons to study IT, which could exacerbate the already problematic IT skill shortages in the UK.
"The shortage now is of candidates with a few years experience, but how do you get experience if entry level jobs are being sent offshore," said Swain.