All the career dreams of IT professionals may come true in 2015, as the year ends with strong IT hiring activity and prospects for IT contractors look merry and bright. Speaking of bright, the IT sector was a bright spot in November’s labor report which added 321,000 jobs overall to the economy. The IT industry added 7,000 within management and technical consulting services, and 7,000 more in the computer systems design and related services. IT employment is now at 4.703 million, a 3.27 percent increase compared to this time last year.
Also on the upswing is the use of contractors by employers and a growing desire among workers to choose contracting or freelancing. Today, freelancers and contractors make up 34 percent of the U.S. workforce. Meanwhile, 48 percent of CIOs will add more contractors than employees in 2015. As demand for skilled and specialized IT talent surges, companies are turning to staffing partners to hire contractors which allows them more flexibility. For the IT professional, pursuing contract work is an excellent way to keep learning the latest, most innovative IT skills through a range of opportunities.
In addition, with remote and virtual employees becoming more commonplace, younger generations have more desire to choose freelancing or contracting as a career path. A 2013 study by ODesk and Millennial Branding, found that 61 percent of Gen Y workers with “regular” jobs say they will, or probably will, quit their regular jobs within two years in favor of flexible options. The report goes on to say many Gen Y professionals now consider contracting or consulting as their career, not just a stepping stone in their job hunt.