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The 4 hot skills IT contractors need right now

Posted: 23 March 2015

It’s no secret that Britain’s IT sector is booming. The growth of regional technology hubs means competition for talent is no longer confined to London.

Recent studies have shown that IT is fast shedding its geeky image and is now viewed as a ‘cool’ sector to work in. An increase in investment, coupled with a shortage of skilled permanent workers, means that contractors should have no trouble sourcing assignments.

But what are the hot IT skills for contractors right now? Here’s recruitment firm Rethink’s top four:

1) Mobile and web development
Statistics show that at the end of 2013, there were more internet-connected devices than people in the world. As a result, British businesses are taking on contractors who are experienced in carrying out large-scale mobile projects – particularly in South West England.

Rethink claims that as of the second quarter of 2014, mobile and web development roles made up almost two thirds of the country’s digital vacancies. It said that firms up and down the country are looking to contractors to lead development projects – a trend it expects to continue for many years to come.

2) Cloud
Cloud computing is another discipline that has experienced a surge in opportunities. Major firms such as IBM and Microsoft are said to have built up their offering in this field and as such are requiring specialists to develop, test and provide support for cloud solutions.

Demand for such professionals is nationwide, as companies in a whole host of sectors require specialists to help them migrate from traditional data storage methods to the cloud.

3) Security
High-profile incidents such as the recent breach of Sony’s security defences have meant that cyber security is now a huge deal for many businesses. Rethink claims that a “crippling” shortage of skilled individuals has enabled contractors to swoop in and demand a 16% year-on-year increase in assignment rates.

London was said to be the number one destination for cyber security specialists, with permanent salaries growing by 14% – compared to 10% in other regions.

4) Big data
Hailed as being the “next frontier for innovation”, big data is another field in which contractors can earn good money. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are said to be clamouring for specialists who can utilise platforms such as NoSQL, while many are seeking expert contractors to do the job instead of plumbing for permanent workers.

Demand for ‘big data’ specialists is nationwide, with the lack of available talent said to be “holding all sectors back”. Despite this, Rethink advised contractors to head to the North West, as the region appeared to have a particularly strong demand for freelancers who can lead Big Data projects.

To see our latest roles for IT contractors click here.