Strange as it may seem, a recent survey found that more 12-15 year olds would like to work with computers than appear on Top of the Pops. In a poll of 100 children carried out by Parity, the top job choice was computing, above pop star, doctor, teacher, Prime Minister or bank manager.

Working with computers got the thumbs up from 22 percent of those surveyed, as opposed to 15 percent for pop star and 13 percent for doctor. The reasons given for the popularity of IT were a high salary (34 percent) and the desire to work with exciting technology (33 percent).

Parity's Peter Linas says: "This goes to show that the tech industry's image has changed significantly over a short period of time? it's great to see from this research that IT is capturing the younger generation's imagination."

But we won't hold our breath for a series of IT Idol, with Bill Gates judging aspiring geeks' programming skills.

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