ICBA Blog

4 Best Things About Being an Independent Contractor IT Pro

The IT industry has a lot of pluses, like great rates and high demand. Learn what else makes IT a stellar profession.

The tech industry is one of the fastest growing industries with demand projected to outpace other job sectors over the next several years. That means improved rates for highly skilled independent contractors who fill the industry’s rapid turnover rate of salaried employees. If you’re an independent IT pro, you’ve chosen a great field to flex your small business acumen, grow your skills, and enjoy variability. And if you’re contemplating whether to dive into IT for self-employment, you really can’t go wrong.

IT workers are in high demand
The IT workforce is continually growing. Based on findings released in its recent Salary Guide for IT Professionals, staffing company Modis projects that the tech industry will see a 12% growth in employment by 2024. In comparison, Modis projects other industries to see job growth of 6.5% during that same time period. With demand for top talent on the rise, businesses are seeking out independent contractors instead of hiring for long-term, full-time positions. A quick look at tech talent platform Dice shows more than 80,000 tech jobs available, many of them freelance. If you’re in IT, you can rest assured the industry isn’t going to the wayside anytime soon, and that the demand for self-employed individuals to fill temporary contracts will only increase.

IT rates are on the rise for independent contractors
While tech salaries for full-time positions have remained steady, pay for consultant work has increased, according to the Dice 2018 Tech Salary Report. The report shows that from 2016 to 2017, hourly rates for consultants increased by 4.7%. Staffer salaries, on the other hand, grew a mere 0.4% The base hourly rate for IT consultants hovers around $70 to $75 per hour. This data supports the idea that independent contractor IT work is valued in the industry.

Independent IT professionals enjoy variability
In addition to the increased demand and pay rates, independent IT professionals cite an ever-changing project landscape as a plus side to their profession. Instead of working with just one company long term, they get to make their mark on various projects both big and small and exercise different skillsets while doing so.

IT provides the opportunity to learn new skills on the go
Another plus to independent IT work is the ability to develop new skills along the way rather than becoming stagnant in a full-time role at a company where the tech needs don’t change rapidly. Each contract project for the self-employed IT pro presents its own unique set of challenges. Some of those challenges may require an IT pro to seek out online courses or network with other tech specialists to gain knowledge. This constantly changing learning curve helps ensures that independent contractors in IT remain on the cutting edge of technology.