Umbrella Company employees specialising in IT contracting may be interested in a revealing new study that aimed to answer the question: “Is there an IT type?”

Computer Weekly and the psychological consultancy PCL surveyed 295 IT professionals, including help desk support staff, software engineers and CIOs, and analysed the data they supplied in an online psychometric test.

PCL’s chief psychologist, Gillian Hyde, gave the verdict: “The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Our sample was found to be significantly different to the general population on a number of competencies.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, IT pros are characterised by strong analytic skills and tend to adopt a highly logical approach to decision-making; however, they are also highly creative in their work. As Ms Hyde puts it: “There is scope within IT to have a lot of creative input; how to solve a problem, how to create a system that works. You are creating something, whether it’s an internal HR information site or a website.”

IT professionals also possess a strong independent streak and tend to have an individualistic approach that may not sit easily with corporate cultures. Ms Hyde explained that they tend not to follow rules for the sake of it, adding: “If they see a better way of doing things, they are not hidebound by what has come before.”

The survey found that IT pros tend to work best under flexible conditions that permit them to work from home, which is possibly why so many have opted for contracting.

They are also prone to a certain nervous energy that makes them more self-critical of their work, the study revealed, which is a characteristic that drives them to continually improve.

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