May 23, 2018 • Beth Williams
Finding Job Security in IT Consulting
Your skill set as a technology professional in Richmond is in great demand. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low but especially in this field. Employers have more IT jobs than they can fill, and all signs point to supplemental staffing to jump start and maintain IT projects. But the reality is that no profession, no matter how much demand there is for it, can provide guaranteed job security. It’s why 63% of adults feel there is less job security today than there was in the past. The IT industry is highly competitive and for those who keep their skills current, you are in demand! Many private companies will engage consulting firms rather than hire an FTE for their company. Contracts may last for years and some consultants can roll from project to project in order to meet IT strategic goals for the organization. These among other reasons help IT consulting firms keep and hire more IT pros to assist with client demands.
Shields You from Budget Cuts
Salaries in IT are generally higher than in other fields and represent a huge cost to employers. Permanent labor is an especially expensive commitment for companies as it comes along with peripheral costs such as health insurance and other group benefits. This is just one reason why companies are gravitating toward hiring IT consulting firms more frequently. They can engage the talent they need for a predetermined and finite period of time, which allows them to better control budgets. For evidence that no company is immune to job cuts, consider that Microsoft laid off 3,000 employees in 2017 and recently announced hundreds more. When you are a consultant instead of an employee with a company, you should feel confident that your marketing team is working on your behalf each day to find you challenging and fun projects and dynamic work environments.
Capitalizes on Agile Environments
Companies hiring in IT are gravitating toward consultants and contractors not just because it helps their budget but because it also makes them more agile. Today’s business goals and project deliverables are broken down into smaller segments than they were before. A SQL Developer might be imperative for the bulk of one project but then not be needed for the following six months. In this way, the gig economy is encouraging consulting as a career for tech pros. When you come in for a specific project with a set timeline there’s no surprise of the project ending unexpectedly. You know the terms and can work with your consulting firm to plan out your next gig so that your resume and skills continue to grow uninterrupted. That is precisely how professionals in Richmond and across the country are finding job security in IT consulting.
Grows Your Skill Set
IT consulting provides opportunities to operate and grow within different areas of the industry. At a time when technology evolves rapidly, getting hands-on experience in various niches is critical to a secure professional future. The more tech skills you get under your belt and on your resume, the stronger your opportunities are down the road. Keeping your skill set up to date can be difficult when you’re permanently focused on a single role and your company does not have employee development funds for additional training, but a string of gigs can round you out, make you attractive to more employers, and bring job security to your career.
Expands Your Network
One aspect of IT consulting that is commonly overlooked by non-consultants is the sheer number of people you can meet. Working for different managers and with various coworkers means consulting is a way to drastically expand your network. According to Forbes, a successful career is one that is run like a business. That means expanding your customer base, and for you, customers are anyone who potentially can connect you with a future IT opportunity. When you have so many extra sets of eyes and ears on your side, your tech job security skyrockets.
Helps Navigate the Gig Economy
In addition to greater job security, IT consultants in Richmond enjoy a number of benefits over their FTE peers. Generally, there is greater autonomy and choice in the direction of their career. They can grow into new skill sets and niches quickly. Work-life balance is improved as consultants have the power to choose the frequency of their gigs and build time off in between. Finally, compensation may be higher. According to Dice, the average salary of a full-time W-2 tech professional is roughly $23,000 less than that of the average IT consultant. Because of these reasons and more, tech pros are no longer motivated to stay with one employer for a long period of time. Even inside the biggest names in tech such as Google and Apple, the average tenure of employees is less than two years.
However, just because becoming a consultant in tech is attractive does not mean it’s easy to do on your own. Lining up a succession of appropriate gigs that can provide coveted job security along with the above benefits takes time and effort. When open roles drastically outnumber tech pros, it means you have to sift through the chaos to fully vet opportunities. That can quickly take a toll on anyone. Building a relationship with a proven IT staffing partner can be the answer and take all that legwork off your shoulders. You focus on your expertise, and they take care of the rest.
Finding Job Security in IT Consulting
While no field or type of role can guarantee 100% job security, there are still ways to increase confidence in your tech career. Becoming a consultant provides numerous benefits that positively contribute to the health of your personal journey in the profession. If you’re feeling unsure about your current role’s future or are experiencing career uncertainty, consulting just might be the gig for you.
Looking for that consistent pipeline of fantastic IT consulting opportunities? Send us your resume.