Contractors’ Questions: Which IT skills are still ‘hot’ as summer ends?

Contractor’s Question: Which IT contractor skills are ‘hot’ as the fourth quarter approaches, and will these tech specialisms stay warm on a temporary basis into 2016?

Expert’s Answer: While reports from earlier this month suggest that growth in demand for temporary IT professionals has slowed, we see four areas where they are highly sought-after:

Front End Developers

The field of front end development has seen significant growth in recent years with the advent of full stack capabilities which use JavaScript libraries such as backbone.js or node.js. As a result, the skillset has become considerably more complex and harder to find. This, in turn, has led to rates being pushed up, particularly at the senior end of the market. And with technologies appearing all the time in the field of development, it’s likely that demand for experts with the aforementioned skills will remain high well into 2016.


As hard as it may be to comprehend, there are still retailers and other organisations without a proper online presence and they’re behind the majority of demand for E-Commerce experts. Consequently, companies are seeking contractors in order to build attractive and responsive sites for their consumers. With more and more money continuing to be spent on online retail, E-Commerce professionals are likely to be sought-after for some time to come, as organisations look to keep their platforms at the cutting-edge. 


As firms look to bridge the gap between developers and operations in an effort to better serve their customers and clients, they are increasingly promoting improved communications between all stages from conception to delivery. This has meant the skills of DevOps engineers have been in significant demand as more firms look to deploy a formal strategy. The simple fact that this is such a new field means there are still relatively few available experts which means specialists can choose between available roles and are able to secure pay rates significantly above the market average. Unless there is a major shift in the development of specialists in this field in the next six months, it’s likely that they’ll continue to be highly sought-after in 2016.

Information Security

You will have had to have lived in a cave for the past few years to miss the growing menace of cyber terrorism, which continues to undermine businesses and governments around the world. As recently as the past few months, we’ve seen a high-profile attack on the Ashley Madison website which resulted in the release of its member list, causing significant damage to thousands of people. As other firms are keen to avoid this sort of disruption from happening again, they’re increasingly spending on bolstering their defences. And with this still being a relatively new field, contractors offering a niche are able to hold out for impressive rates due to the scarcity of specialists in the market.

The expert was Joe Osgood, contracts team leader at ReThink Recruitment.

Friday 18th Sep 2015
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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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