IT contractor skills in London: what’s hot as 2019 warms up

Despite demand on a national basis apparently not climbing much in April, rates for IT contractors in the UK’s capital are now approaching relatively dizzy heights – almost £1,000 a day, writes David Taylor, managing director of the London office at First Point Group.

But in order of demand, rather than pay, here are the 10 'hottest' skills for IT contractors as 2019 warms up, in terms of appetite from London-based clients in the private sector.

1. Cyber Security

Top rate: £950 per day

Types of contracts: Cyber Security Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst, Cyber Security Manager, Penetration Tester, Vulnerability Tester.

Cyber Security expertise is hard to come by with a lot of roles mostly across Tech, Financial Services, Healthcare and elsewhere. Digital assets and data have become more and more valuable to businesses, so it has become vital to protect it against cyber-attacks. GDPR may have influenced this influx, but cyber security has always been important to industries that would be heavily affected by the highly-changing digital landscape. 

2. Blockchain

Average rate: £700 per day

Types of contracts: Blockchain Developer, Blockchain Specialist, Javascript Blockchain Developer

Blockchain is one of the most sought-after IT skills of 2019. This is because it is a new, cutting-edge technology that enables smart investing and trades. Data involved in Blockchain technologies are also encrypted and extremely secure. And Blockchain integrates with other technologies really well, although it is currently mostly recognised in banking and finance.

3. (Network) Site Design

Top rate: £350 per day

Types of contracts: Site Design Engineer, Site Design Manager, Wireless Design Engineer

Site design is a ‘hot’ skill in Telecoms as it directly impacts network upgrades from 4G to 5G. Working on 5G site design is especially sought-after, due to the intricacy involved in upgrading. 5G isn’t just going to be faster, it’s the key to many other technologies such as IoT, VR, AR and more; not just improved network speed.

4. Cloud Computing

Top rate: £950 per day

Types of contracts: DevOps Cloud Engineer, Cloud Platform Engineer, Cloud Migration Engineer, Cloud Developer

While the rate is expected to be reasonably high, Cloud Computing can reduce the cost of storage to businesses, increases efficiency and productivity. The Cloud is an extremely reliable and accessible application that can be used anywhere in the world, not just at one fixed location.

5. Consulting

Top rate: £950 per day

Types of contracts: SAP Consultant, Senior Salesforce Consultant

Being expert in a niche area lets contractors can command a higher daily rate. This is especially true right now for Microsoft Dynamics, ERP, CRM, SAP and Salesforce. Such technologies are forever growing, a large number of companies use them, and they can be tailored to a diverse range of organisations.

6. Functional Business

Top rate: £950 per day

Types of contracts: Business Analyst, Projects Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner

Functional Business roles are essential to whole IT upgrades and migrations. From planning and data analysis to initiation and implementation, these technical yet functional aspects are vital to the smooth-running of projects to be delivered on time , and of the quality expected. The digital landscape is consistently changing, so companies need these roles to successfully keep up.

7. UI/UX Design

Top rate: £700 per day

Types of roles: UI/UX Designer, User Interface Designer, User Experience Designer

Usability and experience are heavily invested in by businesses to enhance the customer-buying journey and to make it easier for them to purchase. The look, feel and function of digital assets play a massive part in converting browsers into buyers, so no wonder it is now a major part of the IT industry. UI/UX is prominent within ecommerce, but many sectors are now considering its importance.

8. Front End Development

Top rate: £700 per day

Types of contracts: Senior Frontend Developer, Angular Frontend Developer, Javascript Frontend Developer, Lead Frontend Developer

The demand for Frontend Developers isn’t new, but it’s still high. Some of the more sought-after languages include but are not limited to Javascript; Angular, React, CSS, HTML and C++.

9. Back End Development

Top rate: £750 per day

Types of contracts: Backend Developer, Ruby Backend Developer, Python Developer

Some of the more sought-after languages include but are not limited to Java; Ruby, Python, C#/.NET, Scala and Splunk.

Frontend and backend developing are top skills that have enabled many expats to come to London and contract for industries such as FinTech, MarTech, IT, SaaS, Cloud, Data, Healthcare and many more.

10. Data Science

Top rate: £650 per day

Types of contracts: Data Scientists, Principle Data Scientist, Analytical Data Scientist, Head of Data Science

The proportion of data scientist contracts has increased from the past year by at least 20%. The digital world has experienced an explosion of data in a multitude of sectors which is why the demand is high for experts to make sense of it all, and help make conscious decisions for products and services.

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Written by David Taylor

David is a founder and Managing Director of award winning technology recruiter First Point Group which supplies contract recruitment services to its clients in over 180 countries worldwide.
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