Seasoned Umbrella Company techies and other freelancers with IT specialisms in web application development, internet and networking, and data analysis will see no shortage of contracting opportunities in the foreseeable future, a new report commissioned by open source and cloud service provider Reconnix implies.

The study surveyed 100 UK-based IT decision-makers and 200 technology students and graduates. 74% of the former said they had encountered difficulties in recruiting suitably-skilled and experienced talent, and only 12% believed there were sufficient candidates available for the roles they had on offer.

Students and graduates, in contrast, appeared much more optimistic, with 82% expressing confidence about their future employment prospects.

A significant mismatch between student hopes and employer needs also emerged: the most difficult roles to fill were web application development (cited by 38% of IT hirers), internet and networking (cited by 36%) and data analysis (34%). Student preferences for prospective jobs, however, did not align well with employer needs: 38% of students favoured server support roles, while 34% favoured desktop support. Just 18% were considering roles in networking or data analysis, despite these being the most sought-after skills.

Reconnix CEO Pat Nice said that many students and graduates simple were not at the level needed by employers and lacked the critical skills required. She added: “Employers need to take a more hands-on approach to help develop talent in the industry, whether this is working more closely with education establishments or directly training through apprenticeship programmes.”

Seasoned Umbrella Company techies, it would seem, are set to be very busy.

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