The continuing development of technology has led to a high demand for skilled IT workers. Employers nationwide are looking for IT professionals to join their teams, and companies trying to gain a solid foothold in technology need temporary IT workers to help fill the skills shortage in their organisations.
Here are some of the current IT contracting trends in the UK to keep you up to date and give you the knowledge you need in order to succeed in the IT sector.
IT skills shortage in the UK; an increase in job creation
As we discussed in a previous blog, 2016 will be a great year for IT professionals to move into the contracting industry, as a large skills shortage means many employers are looking for temporary workers to bridge the gap. This also means that as an IT contractor, you have more negotiating power in terms of your pay rates.
In addition, more jobs are being created in the IT sector than in any other industry, at a rate three times faster than the rest of the economy in terms of job creation. However, employers are struggling to fill these jobs with properly skilled professionals in line with the rate they are being created.
One of the IT sectors experiencing a lack of skilled workers is cyber security. With reports of issues such as data breaches and cyber hacking from companies of all sizes, employers are looking to increase cyber protection but are struggling to find the adequate skills to get the job done.
More IT professionals are migrating, demanding higher flexibility
According to recruitment agency Hays UK, 63% of IT professionals are looking to change jobs in 2016, with money and career progression being key motivators. It is evident that IT professionals are making the most of the benefits and availability of IT contract work, and have decided it is time to seize the opportunity.
If you work in IT, there is no better time than now to leave the traditional office hours behind and be your own boss as an IT contractor.
Salaries are increasing
In 2015, IT salaries grew by 2.8%, and are likely to rise by an average of 4% in 2016. While the figures apply to the general IT sector and not specifically to contractors, it is evident that employers are placing a higher value on their IT talent and are rewarding them with higher salaries.
Security, IT project management and network jobs have been predicted to see the biggest increase in salaries this year.
IT contracting trends in the UK for Mobile developers
2015 was the year that browsing the internet via mobile finally overshadowed desktop browsing. Companies that strive to deliver content are now focusing on mobile first, ensuring that their output is optimised specifically for viewing on a smartphone rather than a desktop.
This is good news for mobile-specialised IT professionals, as the need for their skills will continue to rise in 2016 in line with the evolution of mobile technology.
More opportunities in IT and technology are popping up outside London
Many start-ups opt to fill their workforce with temporary workers, as they may not feel confident enough to hire permanent employees. This makes a tech start-up the ideal place for an IT contractor to flaunt their expertise, not to mention being a part of potentially the ‘next big thing’ in technology.
That being said, more tech start-ups are appearing in the North East and Wales, coming in close behind London in terms of growth rate. While London is still the tech hub of the UK, growth in other regions means there are more contract opportunities in start-ups for professionals outside the capital and possibly less competition for jobs.
According to the government-funded Tech Nation report, half of digital companies in the UK have been founded since 2008, 74% of them operating outside London. The report also stated that some of the fastest growing tech cities for digital companies, besides London, include Belfast, Greater Manchester, Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove, South Wales, Bristol and Bath.
If you would like to know more about starting a contracting career in IT, we can help you get started and advise you on the best payroll solution for you. Moving from permanent employment to contracting can seem daunting, but enlisting the help of the right contractor accountant will make sure your accounts are in order, so you can focus on doing what you do best.
Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd has been helping IT contractors and freelancers across the UK since 1998, making us the experts in providing accountancy solutions to professionals like you. We will help you with everything from the incorporation of your own limited company to filing your quarterly VAT Returns, so you do not have to worry about missing a single step. If you are already contracting but are thinking of switching accountants, we can help make the transition to our service seamless and simple.
Find out more about our UK Contractor Accountants services by clicking below, or try our take home pay calculator to gauge your potential take home pay when you choose Churchill Knight as your specialist contractor accountant. If you would like to stay up to date on IT contracting trends in the UK, make sure you check back in on our blog regularly.