The global shortfall of professional IT developers could reach crisis point, key research shows.

Although worldwide, IT skills continue to be in demand, the report - by International Data Group (IDC) - shows the number of professional developers is set to fall to 9.6 per cent this year, and to less than 6 per cent by 2003. Last year the growth rate was 11.5 per cent.

The report also reveals that, by 2002, the dominant developer’s language will be HTML, with a continued, rapid growth in the use of Java, Internet RAD and other component-based development languages.

Stephen Hendrick, vice president of IDC's application development and deployment research, said: "Organizations that don’t want to be left behind on the World Wide Web are hiring developers at large salaries to enhance their Web pages with Java."