14:23 03 October 2016
With digital technology becoming increasingly important to all types of business, the IT sector is growing fast. Furthermore, with technology advancing at a rapid rate, there's a huge demand for professional employees with the most up-to-date skills within IT.
Even though the IT sector is booming, the fast-changing and specialist nature of the work means that companies are finding it hard to secure the right people for the right jobs. A recent survey suggested that 81% of IT leaders are having difficulty locating the employees that they need. In some roles, such as network and security engineers and software developers, unemployment rates are as low as 1%.
Permanent or contract
Given the fast-changing nature of the industry, many of the most important roles are filled by contract workers. For the employer, this means that they can hire someone with the specific skills they need to do the job in question, and then let them go. IT contractors often command very high salaries that reflect the specialist nature of the work they do.
Permanent work is also available within the IT sector, and for the employee this has the advantage of a steady wage, in-work benefits and greater job security. But many IT professionals prefer the freedom that contract work gives them, and work on their own terms as and when they need to.
Because of the high demand for IT specialists, a skilled contractor can choose what jobs they take on. They also generally command a higher hourly rate than their equivalents on the company payroll.
With an ever-increasing amount of data threatening to overwhelm companies, there is a huge demand for professionals who can interpret processes and analyse raw data, building data models and performing regression analysis in order to translate this information into an actionable business plan. Agencies specialising in data analytics contract recruitment are always looking for skilled contractors, who can earn over £500 per day, to fill these roles.
User interface designers
As consumers, we increasingly expect websites to be easy and enjoyable to use, while instantly performing ever-more sophisticated tasks. User interface (UI) designers need to be able to create intuitive, attractive websites that will keep customers coming back. A full-time software developer or digital designer can earn upwards of £40,000 per year.
IT project managers
The individual who oversees all major IT projects needs not only a full basket of IT skills but also in-depth knowledge of the industry they're working in, whether that's banking, healthcare, retail or any other sector. The average salary for this post is £75,000 per year.
There is a huge demand for specialists in cybersecurity, with the shortage of adequately skilled professionals rapidly reaching crisis point. All kinds of businesses are now vulnerable to cyber attacks. As criminals and terrorists become more sophisticated, the industry needs to constantly upgrade its defences. A cybersecurity specialist in London can command a base salary of £100,000, while a contract worker can earn £450-£650 per day.