Organizations Use Flexible IT Talent Pool

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

A growing number of IT professionals are opting for flexible employment arrangements, often working for a consulting firm or services company.

By Samuel Greengard

As organizations turn to the cloud and an array of tools to manage IT resources more effectively, the nature of IT work is changing. According to an April report from Dice, a growing number of IT specialists have two bosses: They are working for the firm that employs them— typically a consulting firm or services company—as well as a client.

"Companies are using flexible talent more frequently," stated Tom Silver, senior vice president, North America for Dice, a career site for technology and engineering professionals.

The proof is in the numbers. Technology consulting firms added more than 70,000 positions last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These organizations added another 16,000 positions in the first quarter of 2012, and there's no sign of a slowdown. The biggest demand for positions is currently in the New York/New Jersey metro area, Washington D.C./Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston.

The report noted that access to emerging technologies is a big draw for tech consultants. Toiling for different clients on different systems is challenging, but it offers engaging work. This alone can improve job satisfaction levels.

What's more, IT professionals that can learn and use business language—and understand the underlying concepts—have a distinct advantage. The audience and career opportunities widens for these individuals, Dice notes.

Finally, Dice found that a growing volume of IT work is performed within virtual teams and for multiple customers simultaneously. Likewise, a growing amount of software development is performed virtually and on teams.

Software developers with high-demand skill sets earn about twice the salary as the general IT population, partly because of a severe, ongoing shortage of developers. Similarly, consultants earn about $20,000 more than their full-time counterparts.

"Tech professionals have to look out for their best interests," Silver concluded. "Considering a flexible arrangement may be just the ticket."

This article was originally published on 2012-04-18
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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