Digital technology is evolving rapidly and skilled IT workers are needed to help keep up with rising demand all over the world. 

The world is still recovering from the pandemic and part of the fallout has been increased demand for skilled workers, particularly in the field of IT. 

This has created ideal conditions for people who want to leave the 9 to 5 grind and transition to a career as a contractor. 

High Demand for Skilled Workers

As recently reported by McKinsey, in Europe in particular, during the pandemic, people began to quit their jobs in droves. As a result, “companies can’t get the people they need, and they are losing the workers they already have, while falling behind in areas such as technology and innovation that affect the region’s long-term competitiveness.”

After speaking with more than 16,000 people in nine European countries, McKinsey found a third of people were planning to leave their jobs. This will lead to increased vacancy rates, more expenses around headcount for businesses and skills gaps.

The other issue highlighted by McKinsey was the retiring workforce. An aging population means many of the people who will leave their current jobs this year won’t return to any industry, in any capacity. 

To add to this, in January 2023, global staffing company Manpower Group said talent shortages in key sectors are likely to remain a feature of Western economies left with persistently tight labour markets in the wake of the pandemic. After surveying companies across eight countries and regions, Manpower found 75% of companies reported talent shortages. Riccardo Barberis, president for Northern Europe gave a quote worth taking note of: 

“If you are a Java developer, you set the rules when you go to your interview.”

Food for thought…

Take Advantage of Ideal Conditions for Contractors

When they lose staff, many companies begin to review a number of policies and expenses. For example, if enough people leave to warrant a smaller office space, executives may decide to switch to a hybrid working model with hotdesks so they can save on rent. 

The other option is to use contractors rather than full-time employees. If contractors work remotely and bring their own device, even a higher hourly rate can be more cost effective than having to provide equipment and somewhere to work from.

If you have IT skills and are in a position where contracting may work for you, now is an excellent time to explore this career path as an option. 

The benefits of this career are: 

  • You can often work from home and you don’t have to live in the country where your employer is based
  • You can charge a higher hourly rate than you can in a permanent position
  • Contracting often provides the ability to negotiate flexible working conditions
  • You can take a break between contracts to pursue your passions or spend time with family
  • The ability to work with a number of different companies and build your skillset
  • An expanded network of contacts
  • The potential to relocate and live in a new city
  • The potential to make a difference to businesses and consumers who need new technology in order to thrive.

Take Action Today

Right now, IT contract positions can pay up to 30% more than full-time roles. However, at this point in time, the pendulum is at risk of shifting. This is because several major IT companies have recently shed up to 6% of their workforce. If other brands follow suit, there may be a glut of contractors on the market. 

It will pay to establish yourself and get in early if you want to pursue a higher salary as a contractor.

Check our Rate Guide for IT Contractors in 2023.