CWJobs has compiled research on behalf of CUK which shows that permanent IT staff are more likely to feel the need to retrain or enhance their skills than their contracting counterparts. The recession has forced all workers to think about their skills but this research shows that nearly two-thirds of permanent techies felt ‘forced’ to retrain during the economic downturn while only 53 per cent of IT contractors felt the same pressure.

However, the research did show that many IT contractors are still choosing to retrain to give themselves the best chance of competing in the market which is saturated with highly skilled freelancers. The research also found that permanent IT staff were more likely to complain about the effects of the recession than contract IT workers. However, nearly 75 per cent of IT contractors said that they did not feel that their skills set matched the current market requirements.

Richard Nott, CWJobs site director said: “IT professionals need to take control of their careers and understand the importance of developing and showcasing their skills correctly. This in turn, will allow them to have a competitive advantage against their peers and increase their opportunity to negotiate with prospective employers.”

Nott also explained that as permanent and contract IT job-seekers were placing more focus on their individual skills and expertise, candidates would be under more pressure to display the core skills they possess. According to the research, IT contractors stated that the skills which are currently in high demand are SQL, .Net and Java.
IT contractors also stated that if they were to invest in re-training they would be most likely to opt for SAP, even though they acknowledged that Linux would be in demand between now and 2011.

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