Recruiters specialising in the IT skills market have suggested that the most in-demand skills for the jobbing PAYE umbrella techie have undergone a substantial shift.

Over the past few years, the skills required of the IT contracting community have changed substantially, according to Matt Barrie of Freelancer.com. Many of the traditional skills sets suited to Adobe and Microsoft products are being elbowed aside in favour of newer proficiencies in iQuery and HTML5.

Speaking to ContractorUK, Mr Barrie said that employer demand for contractors with experience in mobile platforms “won’t be reversing anytime soon.” Roles for techies with experience in Google’s Android leapt by 20% during 2012, while those for contractors with know-how in Apple’s iPhone soared by 30%.

Referring to Microsoft as “the web dinosaur”, Mr Barrie said that Freelancer.com’s data shows that demand for its traditional skills (.NET) “fell off the edge of the cliff this quarter”, plunging by 39%, while demand for ASP jobs dropped by 13%.

Meanwhile, data from online recruiter Elance reveals that demand for IT specialists has grown by 14% in 2012. Technology expert Kjetil Olsen attributes this to a change in the way companies are working, with the explosion in interest in mobile device marketing (mCommerce) playing a key part.

Mr Olsen said: “Companies are continuing to seek developers that can create mobile apps and that are skilled in working with mobile networks and data.”

Additionally, IT contractors are being appointed to help employers use the internet effectively to drive recruitment searches, and new patterns of flexible and remote working have driven demand for skills in IT security.

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