- There’s a new hiring landscape that affects technology professionals everywhere
- Tech pros who wish to thrive in a new era must adapt to today’s new environment
- It takes a strong network and hot skill set to achieve continued success in a gig economy
The rapid evolution of technology has changed the world as we know it, including the way we work. The birth and prevalence of the gig economy means today’s careers are different than they were just a few years ago, so much so that Forbes calls the 2018 career landscape a new marketplace entirely. Your options for employment may have increased, but the level of difficulty of managing tech careers has also risen.
The Emergence of the Gig Economy
While the general U.S. workforce sees an average growth of 2.6% each year, the country’s freelancing growth rate far exceeds it, averaging 8.1% every year. Further, since 2011, there has been a 64% increase in people who earn more than $100,000 per year working independently. The gig economy is clearly here to stay and the best opportunities within it reside in the technology industry. In fact, nine out of ten of the highest-paying gig economy jobs of 2018 require knowledge of AI, Blockchain, robotics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, or other tech initiatives. However, not all tech pros are adapting to modern tech job opportunities.
The Two Types of Tech Pro
As today’s IT workforce takes new shape, two camps will emerge. One group of tech pros will gravitate toward new types of positions in the gig economy. While the benefits of doing so can include tremendous flexibility, exposure to more technologies in a shorter time, and attention from new and innovative companies, it will require a lot of effort. This group will have to take charge of their career, strategically planning their career path so it keeps moving in the right direction. Otherwise, they will face unwanted gaps in employment.
The other camp is the traditional IT worker. This kind of professional takes permanent jobs and stays at each position for several years at a time. Benefits for this group include a strong sense of job security, a steady and reliable stream of income, and health or other benefits. However, the growing gig economy is disrupting these traditional positions. As older generations continue to retire, it will be interesting to see if the number of professionals in this group decreases alongside a changing hiring landscape.
Strategies for Any Tech Career
For either group of tech pro, there are strategies for career progression. The most skilled professionals will often embrace the gig lifestyle since owning the hottest skills in the industry puts them in a great position to call the shots. However, they do still have to call the shots. It’s up to them to keep their desired flow of gigs lined up, and that takes strong networking skills. Often, turning to a great technical recruiter from a reputable staffing firm can be the solution to continuing down a gig career path without the added pressure and responsibility.
Those who prefer permanent work in IT aren’t out of luck, since employers must deal with such a small talent pool. The massive skills shortage ensures any IT skills are coveted and desired. However, will companies create more positions geared toward the gig economy and turn away from traditional tech roles? If so, such a shift could alter the number and type of options a tech professional has moving forward.
How Do You Manage Your Gig Economy Tech Career?
The gig economy is changing what it means to work in IT. Any disruption to the industry of this caliber requires thinking critically about where your career is today and where it should be tomorrow. While change can be difficult, working through any growing pains and embracing today’s gig economy is essential for finding not just a job, but longevity in the field.
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