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The April Dice Report

Two Men and a Tech Professional
When Roy Orbison sang of working for the man, he hadn't really considered tech consulting and staffing. In those arenas, you get to work for "two men" - your company and your client. Certainly, there are exceptions with some tech contractors charting their own path. But, the fact is companies are using flexible talent more - creating opportunities.

For example, technology consulting added more than 70,000 positions last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More recently, another 16,000 positions were added in the first quarter.

On the staffing side, tech revenues are projected to grow in the low double-digits year/year, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. And, many analysts expect margins to improve slightly for staffing companies, with healthcare IT displaying particularly strong margins.

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Access to emerging technologies is a big draw for tech consultants. Toiling for different clients on different systems creates challenging and engaging work. That alone can spark significant job satisfaction.

Moving out of the shadows and focusing on business solutions is never bad for a career. If tech professionals can use business language to illustrate solutions to corporate challenges, the audience and career opportunities widen.

Likewise, tech hitters can work on longer-term projects or work for multiple customers at the same time - virtually. Kelly Services noted more software development is being done in virtual teams. While the shortage of software developers is ballooning into quite a saga, it's been lucrative for salaries. Paychecks for software developers are rising at about twice the rate as the broader tech population.

Not to be outdone, consultants broadly make more than their full-time counterparts. On average, it's at least $20,000 more. Tech professionals have to look out for their best interests and considering a flexible arrangement may just be the ticket.

Tom Silver Senior Vice-President North America

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