In 2018, one in five U.S. jobs was a contract job, and the number continues to grow. By 2030, half of all workers could work on temporary contracts rather than a permanent basis.
An increasing number of IT jobs also fall in this category, and if you’re currently in a full-time role or looking for one, you might wonder if a contract job might suit you better.
Here’s when and why you should consider switching to contract work.
You Want a Pay Raise
The best way to get a pay raise in today’s economy is to get a new job. And one of the surefire ways to make sure the salary bump is more than negligible is to take on a contract.
Contract jobs pay roughly 20% more than full-time employment for two reasons. First, a contractor won’t get the same benefits. Though benefits vary by agency and contract, and we’ll come back to that later. Second, paying contractors looks different on a balance sheet than paying employees. Unlike employees, contractors aren’t a “fixed cost,” so clients are more willing to spend more even if they keep the contractor around as long as an employee.
You Are Returning to the Job Market
Getting your foot in the door for a permanent position can be tough if you have a gap in your employment history. Whether you are a new grad or returning to work after several years, employers still tend to overlook you for candidates already in a similar role.
Contract roles come with no strings attached, which makes it easier to step into them if your employment history works against you, in part because employers (and investors) see investing in contractors differently than a permanent employee, who costs more in the long run.
You Want to Specialize
It’s not uncommon to see a permanent IT post come with the responsibilities of an entire IT department in one role. Hiring managers want to get the most bang for their buck for permanent staff. If that expectation doesn’t appeal to you, then a contract job may suit you well.
Employers tend to bring on contractors for specific and often specialist roles. If you want to increase your knowledge and experience in areas like cybersecurity, data center management, or ERP, you may find you have more opportunities as a contractor.
Becoming a consultant can open up a whole new world of work for many IT professionals.
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