|By Brendhan Malone,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle
Why independent contractors in IT should always be on top of the latest tech trends
When I first started in recruitment immediately following Y2K, the market was very slow. Seasoned professional contractors were having tremendous difficulty landing contracts. Unless of course you were a technical or functional consultant in the ERP world and your experience was in the right module, it was tough.
What is the point of my statement?
There are trends in the industry that are worth following. After the most recent economic crash in 2008, financial institutions were looking for any way possible to reduce risk. Consultants and contractors with risk system experience were in tremendous demand in a down market.
Which quickly brings us to today. Is it luck if your area of expertise becomes in high-demand? Sometimes I’m sure good fortune plays a role. I would argue, however, that being on the cutting edge of market trends can take some of the luck out of it. Asking yourself a few key questions in regards to where you see demand for your skills and area of expertise going forward should be a weekly exercise.
The key point to mention is that the current in-demand skills are often times no more difficult to obtain or develop an expertise in than those that are diminishing in demand.
Artificial Intelligence is a perfect example of the importance of identifying current and future demand for your skills. AI is not going anywhere and companies will be relying on it more and more every day. Can your skills be augmented to provide value to this emerging area?
Automation is coming and coming fast, particularity in administrative processes. How do your skills apply here and if they don’t, how can you obtain relevant skills to automation?
People are browsing, shopping, and purchasing on their mobile devices at staggering levels. Only a few years ago it was primarily a device for browsing. Those who had the foresight so obtain mobile development skills have reaped the rewards of this demand.
This may seem like obvious considerations but the difference between having in-demand skills and not can drastically affect your standard of living.
A contractor should be on the hunt to educate and further their own skills and knowledge. Make sure you are always evolving in your professional life and you won’t be left behind but will stay at the forefront of technology changes.