As technology is playing an increasingly important role to companies, no matter what sector they operate in,  firms are realising the need to bring on board specialist IT contractors who can meet the growing digital technology demand. With a growth in IT contractor demand inched up in January, here are the main skill demands for IT contractors we anticipate in 2015.

Security

There has been a significant rise in the number of cyber security contracts over the last year, positioning itself as one of the UK’s most sought-after IT skills. The value of cyber security skills is also reflected in the average daily rate for contractors, and is now one of the highest paying areas within the IT sector, as well as one of the fastest growing.

The demand is likely to continue to grow especially as hacking scandals and cyber-attacks continue to hit the news. Government demand for security specialists is at its highest levels as it continues to monitor national UK and international threats.

Mobile Development

The mobile device market is growing rapidly, changing the way we communicate, do business and access news and entertainment. As businesses, consumers and programmers continue to embrace new and innovative technology, mobile development has become another of the hottest contractor skills to have.

Android and Apple iOS dominate the mobile market which makes programming languages such as Java, C++, C, Objective-C and Apple’s new programming language Swift the most valuable skills to have in mobile development.

Businesses typically develop mobile applications for multiple platforms at once, so the more mobile development platforms and languages you master, the more sought-after you become as a professional mobile developer.

Business Analysts

Whether it’s inside a global organisation or a very small company, a clear understanding of business requirements, solutions and systems is of critical importance to both day-to-day operations and future plans. This is why business analysis is now considered one of the most pivotal roles in organisations of all sizes and is one of the most in-demand contractor skills.

Contract Business Analysts are brought in to identify effective business processes on specific projects and implement these through improvements in software and IT systems, and sometimes to also make non-IT improvements.

The number of advertised business analysis contracts has consistently increased over the last few years, as have the daily and hourly rates.

Java

Demand for IT contractors with Java skills remains high, while Java continues to run on more than 850 million PCs worldwide, and on billions of devices worldwide, including mobile and TV. Although Java is now 20 years old it’s having no trouble staying trendy in the job market, and is still the basis for many open source projects.

As technology evolves, software developers and engineers, especially those with Java skills, are playing a key role in helping company systems stay current. Banks and financial institutions in particular rely on contractor developers using Java as a high performance programming language for building a wide variety of financial applications.

.Net

Despite a strong growth in the use of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, Microsoft Windows is still on top with nearly 90% of the market share, so the ability to write code for computers running Windows continues to be a valuable skill and the .Net software framework is a key component of many applications.

One of the main reasons that the .Net software framework is so valuable is that it was designed with Windows in mind, which means installing an application built on .Net is simplified and issues such as potential conflicts with other software and security are largely handled for you.

For more on contractor market demand and rates please visit ContractorUK.  

For more information on Hiscox’s business insurance products for contractors in the UK visit https://www.hiscox.co.uk/contractoruk