The job market is in a boom right now with more jobs than there are people to fill them. Tech has always been a project-driven industry with plenty of options for contracting, but due to people kicking off post-COVID business transformation, there are now more contracting roles than ever before.

The Australian Tech Council released a report in 2022 that showed off their roadmap for filling 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030. This means that there will be more options than ever before for data and analytics workers.

Our research tells us the most in-demand areas are AWS, RPA, data centre and technical architecture, cloud management, AI and ML, as well as data centre security and networking. Our previous update on the data and analytics market talked about contractors bridging the gap where permanent talent isn’t available, which is why we’re now talking about the merits of both options.

Sometimes, transitioning from perm to contract or vice versa is a logical career move. Before you decide as to whether you work as a permanent employee or contractor, let’s discuss the pros and cons of both types of roles, and what you should think about first.

Permanent vs Contract: What are the Differences?

  • What does ‘permanent’ mean?

You may already be familiar with this, but a permanent employee works for another person or a company on a permanent, ongoing basis. There is usually a contract in place detailing salary, annual leave/benefit entitlements and a required notice period for leaving the role. Employees working on a permanent contract may be full or part-time, and they receive a regular payment on a continued basis.

  • What does ‘contractor’ mean?

Contractors provide their services to an organisation as needed and are hired for a predetermined amount of time. They work at an hourly or daily rate and oversee paying their tax on a self-employed basis.

Typically, independent contractors fill a skills gap for the short term and are expected to work relatively independently. They also do not receive company benefits/leave entitlements, as opposed to fixed-term contractors who are generally entitled to the same leave and benefits – according to Fair Work Australia.

Permanent Work: The Pros & Cons

There are differences between being an employee on a permanent contract compared to being a contractor hired for a specific task. Each of these employment types has pros and cons and as to whether one is better than the other is subjective. Some people prefer the longevity and consistency of permanent work, whereas others like the freedom to pick and choose what suits them the most.

Permanent employment is popular with those who want something long-term and more secure. The pros and cons are as follows:


  • Regular salary paid at an expected time
  • A continued expectation of work, often with development opportunities
  • Paid time off, sick pay and carers leave
  • Taxes are deducted before payment
  • Higher potential for employment incentives/benefits


  • Limited annual leave/days off each year
  • Less freedom to decide the schedule of work
  • Fewer opportunities to negotiate salary
  • May not have the opportunity to work in other industries

Contract Work: The Pros & Cons

As opposed to permanent work, contracting appeals to those who may require more flexibility in their schedule and freedom to choose their hours. The pros and cons are:


  • Contractors can expect to earn up to 30% more for contracting
  • More chances to work remotely
  • Flexible working hours and schedule; you’re paid for the time you work
  • More control over the amount of work to complete
  • The chance to try out different companies/industries


  • Work can slow down which can impact budgeting
  • Location for work may change depending on the company
  • No guarantee of work, so harder to plan ahead
  • Benefits/annual leave may not be paid

Making a Change

Now that you know the differences between permanent and contract work there is a choice to be made. No matter which way you look to switch your work situation, you need to make sure that it’s the correct option and there are a few things to consider before you go for it, such as:

  1. Why do you want to make a change?

Before you leave your current role (whether perm or contract) you must know what motivates you to make this change in the first place. Is it the changing landscape? Are you looking for more money/benefits? Regardless of the reasons, write them all down and be sure of them before making a move.

  1. Research your options

Earlier we talked about the rise in roles for tech/IT jobseekers and whether you are an SAP Specialist looking for contract work or you are seeking permanent options as a TM1 Consultant, you need to do your due diligence. What does the new role you seek bring to the table? Speaking to an experienced Recruiter can help you here and you’ll get the insight you need as to whether you should start contracting or sign the permanent contract.

  1. Turn to your network

Do you have friends or previous colleagues working in your desired role? Ask them what it’s like! If you are worried about the availability of contract roles and a steady income, but you want to have the flexibility of working a contract at a time in a place you choose, they could offer good insight.

  1. Update your social media and CV

Are you on LinkedIn? Updating your social profiles to show that you are looking for a new challenge will enable Recruiters to find you. Your CV will need to align with your online profiles, too, so make sure that it’s updated and adjusted to suit your chosen role.

  1. Assess your situation

If you are currently in a permanent position and contracting looks lucrative, consider your risks. It can be riskier to swap from a permanent role to a contracting future, but that isn’t always a bad thing. You need to assess where you are in life, whether more stability is needed and whether you can afford to take time off work between contracts. The good news is that there are a lot of contracting positions available right now in data, analytics and IT.

  1. Speak to a Recruiter

Lastly, talk to a qualified Recruiter who knows what they’re saying when it comes to your specific options. Some roles are better suited for contractors and right now at Continuum, we’re seeing a big influx in AWS, RPA, data centre and technical architecture. We’re also receiving roles crying out for specialists in cloud management, AI and ML, as well as data centre security and Networking.


What’s next? Well, now that you have researched your options and considered your current circumstances in life, you may be ready to choose: permanent or contract?

No matter what decision you make, you need a supportive and communicative team on your side to help you through the recruitment process from start to finish. Moving from perm-contract, contract-perm may feel daunting, but our data and analytics recruitment specialists can help. Get in touch with us today if you would like to learn more about the job openings we have across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the rest of Australia!