IT contractor skills that look hot for 2017

Project Managers and Business Analysts are among the few IT contractors who could find themselves at the sharp end of the changing market for temporary computing skills in 2017, writes Les Berridge of IT & Telecommunications jobs specialist Networkers.

This doesn’t mean all IT contractors in the BA/PM arena. In fact, we project that there will be continually high demand for Change Managers and Agile Project Managers on a freelance basis. However, PMs or BAs without the ability to deal with change and ambiguity will find it harder to secure an assignment this year.

On the flip side, equally as visible a trend is towards clients wanting to find developers who can work across technologies/tools/platforms. The term that is cropping up more and more and that is increasingly on the lips of end-user hiring managers is ‘Polyglot Developer.’  

For Development as whole, there are eight areas that will jostle for contractors -- they are:

Security Artificial Intelligence
Digitisation – particularly within the retail / leisure markets Big Data
Cryptocurrency Cloud Services
Containers FinTech

And the skills that will be in demand are:

DevOps Go Python
Ruby ATG Hybris
Spring/ Hibernate Node React
Angular .Net Core AWS/Azure
Scala or other JVM languages – Clojure    

If you’re a contractor possessing skills in any of the above four, notably DevOps, Go, Scala and Clojure, you should be looking at slightly over £500 a day. Polyglot Developers can be on slightly more -- £550 a day, about the same rate as a solid but specialised PM, although £600 a day is not unheard of either. Hybris will command a premium day rate too; £500 comfortably.

ATG comes next, a still respectable £475 a day. The remaining languages are predicted to stay around commanding a smidge lower.

But if these languages all seem foreign to you; there’s no need to fret. There are three large areas of the IT contractor skills market where we believe end-clients will be in need for the remaining 11 months of 2017.

Information Security & Governance

Why? Largely due to the impending impact of the General Data Protection Regulation being enforced in 2018.

Cloud & Virtualisation

Why? Largely due to the increased volume of transformation programmes in migrating technologies to cloud platforms.

IT Service Management & Service Transition

Why? Largely due to the continued trend to implement service-led solutions.

The rates in these three groups can vary enormously. If you’re a good Service Manager you should be on £475 a day, for example; slightly less if you’re a non-specialist info security analyst, but maybe up to £700 a day if you’re a specialist Information Security Adviser.

Final thought

So there you have it; the IT contractor skills that are set to be sought-after in 2017 and the sectors that will demand them. It’s always good to know what IT training providers foresee as their big sellers for the year ahead; but now you also know what temporary IT skills are already ‘hot’ at the coalface and how much they're worth. 


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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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