IT and data are the backbone of Australian businesses. Those who doubt this only need to turn to Experian’s recent Global Data Management Report, which found 75% of businesses that improved their data quality in 2021 also exceeded their business objectives. Conversely, a staggering 80% of Australian and New Zealand businesses said inaccurate data impacted their ability to respond to market changes during the pandemic.

It’s no surprise then that as we enter 2023, the demand for IT professionals continues to skyrocket. According to the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends survey, the most in-demand tech employees in Australia are IT technicians (33%) and those with skills in data analysis (27%).

Right now, there are 1.1 million independent contractors in Australia, with 3.4% of those on fixed-term contracts. If you’re an IT professional contemplating a shift from being a permanent employee to taking on contracting jobs, what follows are a host of reasons why this career change can both fast-track your professional development and set you up for a secure financial future.

Supercharge Your Tech Stack

There has never been a better time to be a professional working in the IT space. There are jobs in all areas, whether you’re looking to expand your skills in computing generally, keen to specialise in an area like data visualisation, or are thinking about transitioning into the business and operational side of things.

Contracting is an ideal way to gain an exponential amount of experience in a short space of time. Without the need to commit to one organisation. You can progress rapidly by being exposed to a wide range of work environments, responsibilities and projects. Along the way, you’ll build up an immense network of valuable contacts who are often a porthole to your next position.

Another advantage of contracting work is if you don’t like your current project, you’re not locked in so you can move on to try something else. On the other hand, if you do enjoy the project and company and would like to continue on, most businesses today would jump at the opportunity to convert you to a permanent employee.

A Change in Pay

Technology contractor payments often differ to permanent employees and can equate to more than their permanent counterparts. Contractors are also usually paid either on an hourly or daily basis. This means getting paid for every hour you work, including overtime.

A contractor’s wage is usually higher to account for the fact you’re forgoing some entitlements, such as annual and sick leave. On the flip side, if you work on a 8-10 month contract at a higher rate than you’d normally get as a permanent employee, you can afford to take a month or two (or more) off before picking up your next contract.

Increased Flexibility

According to the ICT Professionals Employment and Remuneration Report 2020-21, ‘work/life balance’ takes out first place when it comes to employees’ top ten workplace priorities (over job satisfaction and a pay increase).

Contracting jobs give you a great opportunity to better balance your work-life scales, however that may look for you. You can not only pick the length of each job, but also the days and times you work.

Contingent Workforce Conditions On the Up

The pandemic changed people’s perceptions of the workforce in many ways. One is the view of the contingent workforce and how they are treated.

When pandemic measures came into effect, companies suddenly realised they needed to find fast ways of ensuring their projects kept moving and got delivered, particularly those with a technology-focus. And for the first time, many turned to contract workers. During this somewhat enforced process, companies realised hiring highly specialised workers, especially those in the burgeoning IT field, was more cost-effective than a permanent team, particularly due to the short-term nature of their projects.

As the benefits of contract workers became more and more apparent, changes started to occur in the way companies managed them. Some had to do with improving processes to help contractors engage with their permanent team and their work, or tweaking communication methods to enhance connection.

Should you decide to make a career change to a contract position, you can feel comfortable knowing employers are doing ever more to ensure your needs as a contingent worker are addressed, just as well as those of their permanent employees.

Job Security Worries May Be a Thing of the Past

Perhaps the biggest worry people have in taking on temp jobs is job security. But recent statistics appear to somewhat negate this concern.

ABS figures show that 71% of fixed-term contract employees expected to remain working in their current job in 12 months’ time. This is surprisingly not much less than permanent employees, with 90% feeling the same way.

Furthermore, the 2022 Tech Jobs Opportunity Report’s longitudinal data shows tech sector workers have greater job security overall than others in higher paid industries. The rate of people no longer working after 8 years in tech was 4.7 percentage points lower than those in higher paying industries.


Moving from permanent to contractor is a big step and requires careful consideration to weigh up the pros and cons in relation to your individual circumstances. This is where partnering with a specialist IT recruitment consultant can be highly beneficial.

You’ll gain valuable advice about setting the right contracting rate – one that can change with time and market demand. They will give you a realistic market appraisal of your skill set and experience, and help you factor in a lack of leave and company entitlements, and requirements around personal superannuation contributions and professional indemnity insurance.

Should you need further help in making your decision to switch, our Sydney recruitment team are on hand for advice and support. Please get in touch with one of our specialists to see what contracting roles we currently have on offer, or simply for guidance about making that shift.