Demand for IT contractors has continued to rise substantially, with May hitting new heights, marking the highest level of demand so far in 2018. Following a dip in April’s data this has now been deemed as a ‘blip’ in the ever-increasing upwards trend of contractor demand for this thriving industry.
Many are associating the increase with the significant risk posed to businesses of cyber attacks, an issue that threatens businesses of all sizes. In fact, government research has shown that four in ten businesses (43%) reported a cyber security breach or attack in the past 12 months with 74% stating that cyber security is high priority. These statistics highlight precisely why IT contractors are vital to the business world, and the rise in demand indicates a positive year ahead for those operating within this industry.
However, there are some dark clouds threatening the IT contracting industry, and that is the severe skills shortage in the expertise required for these in-demand IT roles.
IT skills shortages
Skills shortages are being felt across industries and looks set to worsen with impending the exit from the EU. Data from 2017 found that these skills gaps are costing businesses within the UK £2 billion each year, as many struggle to source the ideal workers for a role or project.
For the IT industry in particular the same research that uncovered May’s high demand, also found that there were 19 types of technology roles that recruiters found difficult to fill. With companies trying to fill numerous roles with a shortage of candidates, many are upping their salary offering to entice IT professionals.
The issue of cyber security looks set to continue for many years to come, and therefore we can predict that demand for IT roles will only continue to increase. Subsequently, quick action is required from the government to close the skills gap within the IT industry in order to avoid severe economic repercussions.
Many argue that this issue could be tackled by also addressing gender diversity in the technology industry, whilst others add that government investment will go a long way in addressing and resolving the skills shortage.
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