Working as a contractor is common in IT and the pay rates can be good if you choose the right specialisation, but it can make forward planning difficult. That's likely to become a bigger problem in the future, with one study suggesting that the average length of IT contract engagements is shortening.
Picture by Ed Schipul
The SkillsMatch Contractor Salary Survey conducted by the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA) each quarter includes data on the duration of contractor roles. There has been a definite increase in short-term contracts over that time, while the percentage of longer contracts has declined, according to ITCRA CEO Julie Mills:
In the third quarter of 2011, contracts between 1-3 months accounted for 16 per cent of all contract placements made, while in the second quarter of 2012 this jumped to 35 per cent. Conversely, longer contracts of 7-12 months accounted for 36.5 per cent of all placements in the third quarter of 2011, while in the most recent quarter this dropped to only 23.47 per cent of placements.
Have you noticed contractor offers getting shorter? Tell us in the comments.