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Growing number of niche opportunities for IT contractors

Happy man with computer technology ContractCalculator recently reported on the increasing number of contractor agencies who are struggling to find candidates with the skills required for specialist roles in the IT sector, indicating that there could be a host of opportunities for IT contractors who expand their skillset. According to a new piece of research conducted by Comensura, because contractors tend to favour front-facing IT roles – such as project management or business analysis – there is a growing shortage of candidates with the expertise to take on more niche roles. Dave Chaplin, CEO of ContractorCalculator, explains that IT is "a continually expanding sector, which isn't going to slow down anytime soon." This means that competition in the IT workforce is "at a premium," so professionals looking to remain in high demand should look for gaps in the market and brush up their skills accordingly. The IT contractor market is particularly buoyant at the moment, with more IT professionals looking for contractor roles than ever and demand expected to rise by more than 10% next year. However, this pattern seems not to have affected specialist positions, which continue to be undersupplied and undersubscribed; more than 40% of the survey respondents were not able to fill IT development roles, while a similar number (38%) reported difficulties finding IT security candidates, and a quarter (25%) were struggling to find people with IT architecture skills. The findings support a similar insight from The Tech Partnership, whose study of in-house expertise found that 50% of organisations were experiencing a shortage of adequately qualified staff. The Comensura report summary states, "There is little doubt that we are currently living in the age of technology. The vast majority of businesses in the UK have joined the trend therefore more IT specialists are entering the workforce. However, problems remain in recruiting the necessary talent, and addressing the skills gaps within the workforce is an ongoing problem."