If you planned on cutting corners this year by scaling back IT salaries, think again. Despite the economic downturn, IT salaries are apparantly still on the rise.

John Longwell, research director at Computer Economics, has sent me some of his latest projections on IT salaries (Thanks, John. Always good to hear from you!).

Interestingly enough, IT salaries are still on the rise as they have been since coming out of the post tech bubble - post y2k downturn several years ago now.

Of course, it depends on what jobs within IT we're talking about.

The biggest jump in salaries will go to those that work in networking-related jobs (i.e. the people responsible for network security, compliance and integrating all that new VoIP and wireless gear). They'll be seing on average a 3.9% increase in salaries this year.

Coming in at number two: the developer's group (as in applications development, technical architecture and building databases) with a 3.7% increase in salaries, followed by management (you know they're always going to take care of themselves) at 3.5%.

Interestingly enough, it's midsize companies that will be hit the hardest with salary spikes in IT at 4%. Larger companies will fare better at 3.5%, as will the really small companies.

No surprises here. While predicting increases in those areas, Computer Economics predicts more cost-cutting through outsourcing. For IT professionals just starting out, fresh out of college, the news is not good. These increases only apply to the highly-skilled niche professionals.

For smaller companies looking for a bargain in IT-help, perhaps consider someone younger and less skilled and then invest in their training. Just make sure you lock them into place with a contract, so you know they'll be around to payoff your investment over the next two or three years as we ride out a shaky economy.