Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

The Pros and Cons of IT Contracting – Is it the right path for you?

By . November 17, 2023
IT professionals often find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to choosing between traditional employment and IT contracting. Ultimately, this decision always comes down to personal choice and the suitability of the individual's circumstances. With that being said, we wanted to share a few things for you to contemplate regarding contracting vs permanent employment in IT. We hope this will help you to make an informed decision about your career path.

Pros of IT Contracting:

Flexibility and Autonomy:
IT contractors have a degree of independence. They can control their schedule, choosing when and where they work. This is one of the most appealing aspects of contracting as it allows for a better work-life balance. Often contractors will have gaps between projects, to leave time for holidays, training and personal hobbies or commitments. Many contracting roles require remote working, so you'll be able to save on those travel expenses and cut out the lengthy commutes.  
Higher Earning Potential:
Though it’s not guaranteed, contracting can also enable you to earn a higher income. As a contractor, you may often find yourself helping a business to cover a resource gap or complete an urgent project. Since you’re offering a valuable service and helping companies on a short-term basis, you may find that clients are willing to pay a higher daily/hourly rate compared to a full-time hire. When contracting work, you have the opportunity to negotiate your own rates and terms for each project. Your rate would depend on several variables including experience, contract duration, whether it sits inside or outside IR35, the specific industry/market conditions etc.
Skill Development:
Working on various projects exposes IT contractors to different technologies and industries, contributing to a more diverse skill set. Therefore, contracting encourages a continuous learning mindset so individuals adapt quickly to the new environments and technologies. Contractors may be joining a project from the beginning or part way through a project, so they will need to be prepared to hit the ground running.
Build a Network:
By taking on various projects, it enables a contractor to build a large and strong network of industry connections. These connections will be a very useful tool for future contract as you may need their assistance to improve the operation of a project. Additionally, you may find your next career opportunity through a recommendation from one of your contacts.

Cons of IT Contracting:

Uncertain Income and Job Security:
One of the main flaws of contracting is that it can be unpredictable. If the project you are working on suddenly gets shut down or your skill is no longer deemed high in demand, you might find yourself without a job. To reduce this risk, it is important to always keep up to date with the top industry skills, so you remain a valuable asset. Also, contractors may face challenges finding their next contract once a project ends, causing uncertainty about when the next pay cheque may come in.
Benefits and Perks:
Unfortunately, contracting often means sacrificing traditional employee benefits such as health insurance, pension schemes and paid holiday days. Also, initiatives like training and development opportunities are likely not going to be paid for by the company. This leaves contractors with fewer chances to enhance their skills in comparison to a full-time employee. Contractors will need to seek out their own training programmes if they want to stay relevant in the job market.
Administrative Responsibilities:
The benefit of being able to control their schedules, also comes with the responsibility of handling their own admin. This could include contracts, invoices, expenses and other administrative tasks. All of which can be time-consuming.
Contracting can be a very lonely and isolating working environment, especially when the role requires you to work fully remotely. This is because they may not have the opportunity to fully integrate into the workplace culture of the client. Before diving into IT contracting, carefully weigh these pros and cons to determine if they align with your career goals. Whether you choose the path of a contractor or a full-time employee, understanding the landscape is crucial for a successful and satisfying career in the IT industry. If you’re considering a role as a contractor, speak to recruiters who specialise in the area you work in. This is the easiest way to truly understand what the state of the market is in real-time. Please feel free to reach out to any of us here at Certes should you wish to hear about any of our current contract opportunities, or if you're looking for some insight and advice into the current state of the hiring market.



Who We Work With