IT graduate vacancies are expected to fall 7.1% between 2008 and 2009, according to a report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
The drop is higher than the expected average drop in the recruitment market, which is 5.4%.
The association interviewed several hundred employers in the UK including Siemens, Deloitte and Cisco, and found starting salaries had fallen by 3.7%.
IT starting salaries range between £25,000 and £35,000, with the average at £27,000. There is no average increase in graduate starting salaries for the first time in the history of the report.
The report said, "While the 2009 figures are projections, it nevertheless seems that the slowdown in starting salaries will soon be reaching new proportions in the wake of the economic crisis."
But Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said graduates should not worry too much. "By and large, while no one doubts the seriousness of the current economic downturn, the picture for graduate recruitment, though worrying, could be bleaker," he said. "We saw a sharper decrease in 2003, for example, when recruiters had a negative reaction to the dot.com crash."
IT is also the worst of all sectors involved in the survey for gender balance. Just 22.5% of new recruits are women, as the sector continues to fail to make attempts to attract female employees.