IT is still one of the biggest-expanding sectors in the UK economy. There are over 1.5 million jobs in the UK digital sector and 2.2 million in the wider digital economy. A recent study by recruitment body APSCo found that IT professionals were the most sought-after workers in 2018, with demand for these roles increasing 28% year-on-year. With specialist IT skills highly sought-after across a range of sectors, a good geographical spread of jobs, and digitisation and digital security becoming a priority for all types of business, it’s no wonder that so many IT professionals are choosing to become contractors and freelancers. Here we take a look at the skills that are most in demand from IT freelancers this year. If you have expertise in one of these areas, this could be the ideal time to go it alone.
Big Data specialists and Business Analysts
Rates for Big Data specialists range from £400-500 a day. Demand has grown for Big Data specialists as firms realise that they don’t know how to best make use of the reams of data they have available on their customers, sales, productivity – and everything else they can gather and measure. There is growing awareness that being savvy about the use of this data can help them make smarter business decisions. Companies are sitting on goldmines of information about their markets, but they need specialist data advisers to help them make sense of it. If your skills lie in gathering, harnessing, analysing and/or making recommendations based on Big Data, you’re just what they are looking for.
Gone are the days where you would make a website assuming that people will be sitting at a computer when they read it. In 2018, 52.5% of all website traffic globally was from mobile phones – meaning its more likely than not that a visitor to a website will be using a smartphone. More than this, recent changes to Google’s algorithms mean that sites which are deemed “mobile friendly” are bumped up the results when a user searches from a smartphone. This has meant an extra emphasis on having mobile-optimized websites, and accompanying technology like apps. If tech on-the-go is your forte, you should have plenty of contracting opportunities to choose from.
User Experience specialists
UX designers are amongst some of the most in demand designers in today’s digital economy.
Usability and seamless navigation are top priorities in tech and in business. Designers who can marry both the look and feel of an app, website or program are particularly sought-after. UX specialists combine a unique set of skills in understanding not just the technical and visual aspects, but also offering a deeper understanding of human behaviour – they are the ethnographers of the digital world, and companies are desperate for their insight.
If you do decide to go it alone and take your in-demand tech skills out into the wonderful world of contracting, you’ll need proper business insurance behind you. Kingsbridge offer one tailored, comprehensive package for IT contractors and freelancers that has everything you need to get started. You can easily get a quote online today.