Jobs boom for self-employed IT professionals

Self-employed IT professional

New data on the world’s most in-demand experts looks promising for self-employed IT professionals as adverts for remote software jobs remain high.

The most in-demand jobs globally

This month, LinkedIn collated lists of the most sought-after professionals using the number of associated job adverts posted on the site in July as a proxy measurement. For the list of advertised remote work, IT jobs dominated: software engineer, software architect, DevOps engineer, back end developer, and full stack engineer all made the top 10.

Remote jobs with the most demand for August
1. Software engineer
2. Software architect
3. DevOps engineer
4. Account manager
5. Back end developer
6. Project manager
7. Account executive
8. Sales manager
9. Sales development representative
10. Full stack engineer

The IT sector has likely weathered the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic better than other industries because of the ease at which sector professionals can adapt to working at home.

According to the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index survey, software workers are very confident in their ability to work remotely. However, this is not the only reason that IT jobs are proliferating. Looking further back, demand for software engineers has been consistently high since before the pandemic. Thus, taking the long view, jobs in the sector are likely to remain buoyant.

A closer look at UK data

This result is mirrored when looking more specifically at the UK version of the LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report. 8 of the top 15 emerging jobs between 2015 and 2019 were in the IT space, including: artificial intelligence specialist, robotics engineer, site reliability engineer, data scientist, cloud engineer, platform engineer, full stack engineer, and DevOps engineer. Common routes into these roles included software engineering and web development.

Self-employed IT contractors should equally be reassured by recent ONS data showing stability in the numbers of self-employed professionals in the Information & Communication sector between Q1 and Q2 2020, a period in which multiple industries faced drastic plunges in the numbers of self-employed workers.

With all things considered, the work opportunity landscape for self-employed IT contractors is looking very encouraging. Professionals in the sector would do well to take advantage of the consistent demand for their expertise. Herein lies an opportunity for self-employed IT professionals to gain traction for their business.

Top tips for IT professionals during the pandemic:

1. Upskill to match demand

Could you use this time to upskill in the areas where demand is high? There are plenty of online courses in DevOps, and even a six-week online course at Oxford University in AI. Read this article on valuable areas of professional development for IT consultants.

2. Update your portfolio

Update your online portfolio before you start looking for work. Be sure to highlight comparative advantages over in-house employees of having experience working remotely, for example. Think about how you can make yourself stand out.

3. Network in those industries

Are you known in the industries that are growing? Re-ignite old connections and find new ones that suit your speciality. You should also consider how you can use social media to raise your brand’s online profile and grow your network.

Meet the author

Ella Creamer Photo (2).jpg
Ella Creamer
Ella Creamer is IPSE’s Content Assistant and specialises in policy and economics issues.