Typically, if you’re looking for work in the tech industry, you can choose between full-time employment and contracting roles. Contracting is different in that you work on a self-employed basis, rather than being an employee. Contractors will often start off on a temporary contract of about six months, and they might work as sole traders or through their own companies. Sometimes they will use contracting agencies to find work too.
For anyone looking for tech jobs, contracting can offer some exciting opportunities. It’s a flexible way to work, can offer the option of earning more, and there’s plenty of demand for people with the right tech skills too.
There are some excellent reasons to launch a contracting career in the tech industry and benefit from what contracting can offer you.
Demand for Your Skills
Just like fully employed tech workers, tech contractors are in demand. Organizations want to have access to tech workers who can work on short-term projects and deliver the skills that they require. Some large companies such as Google hire thousands of contract workers, so there are always new opportunities out there to discover.
With tech talent so in demand, it’s common for employers to look for contractors instead. They can get the skills they need without the commitment of hiring someone full-time and they can save money because they don’t have to pay for up-front hiring costs or benefits.
Flexible working opportunities are another key reason to build a contracting career in the tech industry. When you’re working as a contractor, you’re in control of where you go and what you do. It’s acceptable, and even expected, to job hop and go looking for new opportunities every few months to a year.
Contracting in the tech industry is continuing to grow, which means you can benefit from a wide range of choices. You can choose to move on to a new contract whenever your existing one has finished. You also have the flexibility to take a break when you want to, which many contractors choose to do around holidays or during the summer.
You can change jobs often when you’re contracting, without there being any stigma attached to it. As an employee, you might be judged by employers for only staying in a job for a year or less. But in contracting, it’s expected that you will work on short-term projects and then move on to something else. At the same time, you often benefit from the tools and facilities offered by the organization contracting you, and work together with full-time employees.
Great Financial Compensation
Many contractors get great rates when working as a tech contractor. Employers are willing to pay contractors more for a few reasons. They don’t have to pay the cost of any benefits, cover the expense of onboarding new employees or pay for anything else associated with hiring new employees. Contractors usually charge higher rates because they need to cover a number of different costs and might have gaps between contracts. However, employers will pay higher rates because the contracts are only temporary and they need the right skills for their projects.
One downside to contracting is that you won’t get the usual rights and benefits of full-time employees. However, this is why you can charge more for your services. The higher rates that you earn will cover costs such as medical insurance that aren’t being provided by an employer.
Opportunities for Career Development
When thinking of contracting, you might not think that it’s the best option for career development. However, it can offer excellent opportunities for gaining plenty of experience, learning new skills, and progressing through a tech career. As you take on different contracting roles, you will have the chance to learn new hard and soft skills.
You have the flexibility to choose to take a break between contracts so you can study or work on personal development projects too. As you complete different contracts, you will need to deal with a range of circumstances and demands. You might need to learn how to use different tools and technology, and you might have to learn to juggle the demands of different stakeholders.
You have control to learn new things if you want to, even without employers paying for your training. Whether you continue contracting or you want to go into full-time employment, you’ll be able to demonstrate a broad range of skills and knowledge across a variety of different contracts.
Keep Things Exciting
You won’t get bored if you choose tech contracting over working for one employer. With contracting, you have the opportunity to change what you’re doing when you want to. As long as you’re not still locked into a contract, you can decide what you’re going to do next. And you can enjoy plenty of variety when you’re looking for contracting roles.
You can work in different industries and sectors where tech skills might be required, and even try out different roles with a range of responsibilities. You can keep things interesting, always seeking out something that will excite you and offer you something engaging. If you don’t want to spend years in the same job, contracting can work out for you.
Stay Up to Date
There’s no danger of falling behind with your tech skills if you want to launch a career in contracting. It’s important to keep your skills up to date if you want to be able to find new contracts, and you’re sure to learn new things with each job too. Although you won’t have employers paying for your training, you can still choose to keep your skills polished through your own study and training.
As well as keeping your skills up to date, you’ll be able to network with others. Having the right contacts is important as a tech contractor, and you can seek out opportunities to connect with the right people both online and offline.
Launching a career as a contractor in the tech industry is a great way to work more flexibly and earn good money too. If you want to keep things exciting and avoid settling down in one role, it’s an excellent way to build a lucrative career.