HR staff may see the number of women applying for jobs in the IT sector increase during the economic downturn, it has been claimed.

Jennifer Hewitt, chairman of the BCS Young Professionals Group (YPG), said as electronic gadgets become part of everyday life, many women are beginning to see IT in a less geeky light.

She said it is not – as portrayed in television shows like the IT Crowd and Big Bang Theory – about sitting in a room coding all day long.

"It’s about inventing all these really cool things that everybody uses on a daily basis now and have sort of revolutionised how we live," she explained.

According to a survey of 16 to 30-year-olds commissioned by the organisation, those with an IT qualification are upbeat about their employment scenario, with 53 per cent confident about their job prospects in 2009.

Meanwhile, the survey also found IT is beginning to be seen as a career of choice alongside traditional middle-class professions.