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Industry experts agree, when it comes to value, experience is king. This is often particularly true in the technology field. While education and certifications undoubtedly are impressive, hands on knowledge of tools and technologies have been shown to be considered the most valuable in terms of an IT professional's salary and career advancement potential.
Technical positions are very specific, and because these job responsibilities are often so innovative and specialized, it can be more beneficial to have practical experience working directly with a methodology or platform rather than learning about it in class.
For this reason, contract IT jobs can be helpful in providing tangible experience working with the latest tools and technologies. For IT professionals, this can translate into concrete benefits in terms of increased earning potential and career opportunities.
According to Sapphire Technologies, an IT staffing service agency, clients do like to see certifications and training on an IT professionals resume. However, when it comes to actually hiring an individual, they tend to prefer solid work experience over those with only educational familiarity with a specific technology.
IT professionals working in contract employment arrangements are generally paid on an hourly basis. As such, they are fully compensated for all of the time they work. The same, however, cannot be said for individuals employed in regular full-time permanent IT jobs. These days, companies are demanding their permanent staff to work longer hours, yet in most cases they have not increased their salary income. In fact, for many, their earnings have decreased.
Though pay rates clearly vary depending on an individual's specialty and the region in which they work, many highly skilled IT professionals find that the hourly wage they receive in IT contract jobs is generally higher than they can earn in a permanent IT job. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, that computer programmers, on average earn nearly eight dollars more per hour in contract IT jobs than those employed in permanent IT jobs.
IT professionals looking to secure contract employment or permanent jobs would do well to enlist the help of an IT staffing services agency. These organizations hire top-notch recruiters who have broad connections and established relationships with a large volume of client companies. As such, working with staff augmentation companies can significantly increase a candidate's exposure to both contract employment and permanent IT jobs. And it can also significantly extend an IT candidate's prospective reach to a wide scope of businesses ranging from small regional companies to large international corporations. This provides the jobseeker with additional avenues of opportunity and consequently more choices to find the employment arrangement that best fits their particular skills and requirements.
It is also important to note that quality IT recruiters are generally aware of upcoming employment openings months or even weeks before any advertising for the new position even takes place. Therefore, staff augmentation services are able to help prospective candidates gain early access to potential IT employment possibilities before the general public. This can give them a significant foot up on their competition.
In a survey sponsored by the American Staffing Association and CareerBuilder, workers in contract employment positions were found to have high job satisfaction. In fact, the research found that ninety percent of temporary and contract jobholders reported that they were satisfied with their work experience. This was considerably higher than the satisfaction ratings of individuals in regular, full-time permanent jobs. Only sixty two percent of the employees in a permanent job arrangement rated their work experience as satisfactory.
Moreover, nine out of ten individuals who had worked in a contract employment arrangement say that they would refer a friend or relative to work as a temp or contract employee. Perhaps it is the added flexibility inherent in contract jobs or the exposure to additional work environments that they find rewarding. Or it could be satisfaction with the challenges and appeal of shifting job responsibilities. Whether it is a love of variety or desire to gain additional skills, it is clear that contract employment opportunities provide a definite value to today's workforce.
Have you ever considered changing the direction of your career path? If you have, you might do well to test-drive your potential new profession via a contract employment arrangement. Working in an IT contract job can provide the freedom and flexibility to explore a wide variety of vertical industries as well as job roles. Unlike permanent jobs, in contract employment arrangements, you have the ability to shift your focus to learn about a completely different vertical market. If you had always worked in large corporations, you can choose to sign on for a contract employment position with a small burgeoning startup. IT contract jobs allow you to work in a variety of different office settings.
With each new assignment, you also build important and potentially profitable professional connections and references. You gain the experience of working with people of different backgrounds and cultures. These connections and experiences add tangible value to your credentials.
IT contract jobs have become a popular alternative for IT professionals for several reasons. Of course there is the added flexibility that these work arrangements provide and the ability to gain experience in a wide range of industries and business environments. But one of the most valuable advantages is that contract employment positions allow workers to confirm their compatibility with an organization before signing on for a long-term permanent relationship.
You can consider it like dating before getting married. Would you want to jump into a marriage after just one or two brief meetings? The thought for most is preposterous! So why would so many be willing to quickly commit to one of the most important relationships you will have in your life without a little more courting time up front? By exploring contract employment alternatives, candidates can fully assess if the position, the working environment, and the company are truly appealing to them.
Permanent IT jobs tend to be rooted within specific functional roles. Exposure to different technologies is often limited to the equipment and domains already present within the company. Advancement to, or even simply experience with, new methodologies and tools can be narrow at best.
Because of these restrictive boundaries, there is a sizeable number of IT professionals who choose to remain employed solely in IT contract jobs because they prefer this alternative employment arrangement over traditional, permanent jobs. In particular they appreciate the ability to gain valuable hands on experience and understanding of different technologies, business environments, and industry sectors. Contract employment provides IT professionals the ability to explore different job roles without commitment, giving them the capability to explore diverse roles.
In fact, American Staffing Association research shows that roughly seventy percent of staffing employees note that choice of assignments was a vital factor in their contract employment decision.
The world of information technology is constantly evolving. It seems as though every day there are new tools and technologies being announced. Faced with this phenomenon, it can be extremely difficult for IT personnel to keep their skills up to date. For this reason in particular, many top-notch tech professionals actually choose to take IT contract jobs rather than permanent jobs. Working through a staff augmentation company, IT pros can land a variety of contract employment positions where they are able to gain hands on experience with the latest methodologies in a wide range of industry settings. These provide valuable resume building experience that increase their earning potential. In fact, an American Staffing Association survey found that eighty eight percent of respondents said that their experience working in IT contract jobs actually made them more employable. Most found that by working a series of IT contract jobs they were able to expand their core skills more than they would if they had been employed in a permanent IT job.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|