So far IT contractors have been remarkably resilient to the economic downturn. The shedding of costly full-time IT staff by large corporates and the civil service has meant a relative boom-time for contractors as the demand for flexible workers expanded. There was a slight wobble recently after a study showed demand for IT contractors had waned slightly, however there has been good news for the sector this past week.
A study by ReThink Recruitment has found that pay prospects for permanent IT staff have hit their highest point since the beginning of the recession and the near-collapse of Northern Rock. According to the study, 59% of IT Directors expect full-time salaries to rise in the year ahead, and 43% expect to increase their staff numbers in 2012. Although there may be more work on the horizon, contractor pay prospects are not looking quite so rosy – 93% of those surveyed expect contractor rates to stay the same or decrease in the next twelve months.
ReThink Director Michael Bennett commented on the findings:
“Unless contractors have very specific, in demand skills or experience they can expect the first half of 2012 to continue to see little or no increase in contract rates.”
The increase in available work for IT contractors was underlined by the news that IT giant Tata Consultancy Services is looking to hire around 1,500 IT staff in the UK during 2012. The Indian firm already employs 6,739 staff in the UK.
If IT contractors want to stay one step ahead of the game and ensure their rates stay the same, mobile development seems to be the way forward. A survey by recruiter CWJobs.co.uk has shown that around a fifth of IT contractors (19%) are planning to retrain to concentrate on mobile computing, and 78% of IT professionals would urge graduates entering the industry to get into mobile computing.
Photo by Luís Cajão