Break into IT with Temporary Work
(Source: Creative Commons)
Allan Hoffman | Monster Tech Jobs Expert
If You’re New to IT…
The business world may be looking for technology pros, but you’re not a pro (yet) if you have a new certification and no experience. How do you gain that experience? One way is to take temporary assignments.
Working as a temp may not be your ultimate goal, but when you’re launching a career, you want to get experience any way possible. A temporary job allows you to hone your skills, establish a track record and make contacts in the IT industry. If a permanent position is your goal, a series of temporary assignments can help you get there.
“It should be looked at as a great opportunity, rather than something that’s not so secure,” says the Web evangelist for one IT talent agency. “That first gig is often the toughest to get.”
People who have certifications or nontechnical degrees are turning to temporary work as a way to break into IT or simply explore a career in the field. “You see these people developing more skills while they take jobs on a temporary or contract basis,” another recruiter says.
Temp Types: Experienced Professionals Make More
In the technology world, you’re likely to encounter different names for temporary work. The term “temp” is often avoided as it connotes administrative work to many. Some agencies refer to temporary assignments as “contract” or “project” work. Is it all the same? Not quite. With contract assignments, the length of time is typically established from the start. It can range from, say, two weeks to six months or longer. Temporary work generally does not have a set time period, although you may get a guesstimate as to how long you’ll be needed.
Contract work typically is for individuals with more experience. Contract workers may command hourly rates of $40 and up, with some earning $150 an hour or more for specialized, in-demand skills. Needless to say, those jobs don’t go to newbies.
“The people who are contract or independent professionals have made that their career choice,” says the senior vice president of an information technology staffing company. Contract professionals typically choose that route to select projects with leading-edge technology, he says. It also gives them flexibility and top-notch compensation.