Tech contractors are in high demand, and companies are looking for people with the specialist skills needed to meet their digital technology needs.

As a result, contractors have to make sure they keep their skills up-to-date. By developing their talents within the most in-demand areas of tech, contractors can ensure they have the skills companies require now.

As more companies revisit their hiring processes to include more contractors, here are some of the most in-demand skills they are looking for:

1. AI and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the up. It now takes a number of forms – from driverless cars, to Alexa, to AI-powered server configurations. Machine learning and deep learning (both subsets of AI) are also on the rise as companies search for ways to do more with their data.

AI brings countless business benefits, including more effective marketing campaigns and more efficient processes. As deep learning and advanced AI capabilities become feasible across a range of sectors (within healthcare, consulting and financial services in particular), contractors with these skills will find themselves particularly sought-after.

2. Programming (Python)

Programming is central to any tech contractor’s skill set, and Python is one of the hottest skills out there. Supporting everything from functional programming patterns to object-oriented programming, it’s intuitive, simple to learn and a popular choice with developers.

Not only do its huge libraries suit the data manipulation needs of data scientists, the language blends into the infrastructure and can be used across numerous applications platforms. Python is often listed as a core skill for IT contractors, and as a coding language skill, it’s hard to beat.

3. AR and VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology can be found in a number of different sectors, from education to retail, and brands are realising this technology holds real growth potential. VR headsets might be too pricey for widespread consumer use, but this technology can be used by companies to market their brands and stage interactive events for potential customers.

Companies looking to grow this area and make the most of these technologies need professionals with very specific skills. Jobs in AR and VR are not as common as those requiring other skills, but the current shortage of AR/VR-skilled contractors means demand remains high.

4. IoT

According to data from Dresner Advisory Services, 32% of businesses are currently investing in the Internet of Things (IoT), and 48% are planning to in 2019. Last year, the number of IoT devices outnumbered the global population and Gartner has predicted there will be 20.4 billion IoT devices deployed by 2020.

Today, IoT means more than simply smart appliances; it has moved onto intelligent sensors, platforms, and autonomous, predictive analysis. This progression means that IoT is no longer just hype, but can have a real impact on ROI – and businesses are looking to hire now.

5. Cybersecurity

The risk of data security threats and cyberattacks has never been higher – and the daily rate for contractors with these skills reflects this fact. Fast-growing and high-paying, cybersecurity is of paramount importance for any company collecting customer data and storing sensitive data of its own. Whether you call is cybersecurity, data security, or InfoSec, companies are looking for contractors with these skills.


Hiring contractors means businesses can staff key tech projects with skilled professionals and remain within budget. This on-demand workforce addresses staffing needs and ensures deadlines are met and companies remain competitive.

If you would like to find out more about the hottest tech skills and the direction your contracting career should take, talk to the team at Talent International.