A Changing Landscape: Top 5 Tech Contract Jobs in 2024

7 min

The dynamics of the job market and the rate of technological development are continuously changing at a rapid rate. In line with the societal, economic, and overall environmental impact of the activities of the last five years, the need for more flexible working options and a growing need for professionals displaying industry skills has increased. 

The fusion of these needs results in a notable growth in tech contract jobs, increasing further in 2024, providing skills and distinct project improvements in most industries aiming to increase their digital activity. Tech contract professionals have the potential to utilise their knowledge to assist in the advancement of various tech applications. In 2023, the expansion of these roles has resulted in a significant boost in the availability of tech contract jobs, with projections indicating further growth in 2024.

This guide discusses the importance of contractors in the ever-evolving tech industry and highlights the top five contractor roles currently dominating the tech space. These roles provide businesses with innovative solutions. 

  • Cloud Computing Experts
  • Cybersecurity Consultant 
  • AI/ML Engineer
  • Full-Stack Development 
  • DevOps Engineer

Why are Tech Companies Hiring Contractors?

Hiring contract workers is becoming increasingly popular, and the tech sector is leading this trend. Tech organisations are adjusting their hiring practices to take advantage of the skills and advantages of contract recruitment. 

The tech industry faces a shortage of skilled professionals, mainly due to the societal and economic impacts of activities over the last five years. In 2023, more than half (54%) of organisations struggled with a shortage of technology skills. This shortage is compounded by the challenges associated with the industry's fast-paced rate of development.

Various factors contribute to this shortage. Recent disruptions in society and the economy have significantly reduced the pool of qualified tech professionals. Rapid advancements in technology within the industry have generated a need for specific expertise that frequently exceeds the availability of qualified professionals. With the emergence of new technologies and the transformation of existing ones, there is an ongoing requirement for individuals to be proficient in the latest tools and methodologies. 

This ongoing evolution poses difficulties in finding professionals who can adeptly navigate the ever-changing tech sector.

As the need and demand for specialised skills continue to change, tech-focused companies are altering their recruitment strategies to take advantage of contract workers' flexibility and diverse talents. New LinkedIn data reveals a significant surge in open contractor roles within the technology industry. Over the past two years, the number of such positions has more than tripled. 

This shift reflects the industry's acknowledgement of the practical benefits of engaging skilled professionals on a project-specific or temporary basis, aligning with the dynamic nature of technological advancements and project requirements.

Now that we have established the societal and economic causes of the increase in contract professionals, let’s explore other skill-based reasons for their popularity. 

  • Flexibility: Contractors offer companies the flexibility they need in staffing. Companies can hire them for particular projects and adjust the workforce size as required. This adaptability is especially useful for short-term projects or uncertain project duration. 
  • Specialised Skills: Contract workers recruited for brief assignments enable companies to access the expertise of qualified professionals who might not be present within the organisation. The temporary nature of these positions eliminates companies' need to provide specialised training to their existing employees for particular projects.
  • Cost Control: Bringing in contractors can be a cost-effective choice for companies. Although contractors' hourly or project-based rates may appear higher than hiring a full-time employee, companies can reduce benefits, taxes, and other overhead costs linked to permanent employees. 
  • Quick Scaling: Quick responses are crucial in tech projects to meet tight deadlines or seize market opportunities. Contractors can quickly join the team to fulfil immediate responsibilities, allowing companies to adjust their team size based on project demands.

It is worth noting that tech contractors work in various industries and are not limited to purely tech organisations. Some examples of these sectors include:

  • Marketing
  • Telecommunication
  • Finance 
  • Healthcare
  • E-commerce 
  • Education

Prevalent Tech Contract Positions: The Leading 5 Roles

As a contractor, your specialised technical expertise can be valuable in diverse industries requiring technological development and maintenance assistance.

Evolving landscapes and an increasing reliance on up-to-date technologies mean that this trend is only projected to increase in 2024, with various specialist tech roles appearing across the contractor's radar.

Tech contract jobs are evidently popular, but which roles are increasing in tech, and what skills and experience do you need to navigate this changing landscape?

1. Cloud Computing Experts 

Cloud computing experts are vital to the tech industry’s ability to harness the benefits of cloud infrastructure. They contribute specialised skills and knowledge to the technology landscape. The demand for cloud computing experts has increased, driven by several factors.

Cloud providers consistently introduce advanced services such as serverless computing, AI/ML platforms, and hybrid or multi-cloud solutions. This ongoing innovation allows organisations to stay at the forefront of technology, exploring new possibilities within the cloud. As businesses increasingly move to cloud-based systems, contractors have been bridging the gaps between the needed and missing skills, providing organisations with short-term support with cloud architecture, recovery and development. 

The integration of cloud services with advancements in AI, ML, and edge computing is broadening the functionalities of cloud solutions. This increased need aligns with the burgeoning global cloud market, which is projected to reach $500 billion by the end of 2024.

Here's an in-depth exploration of the daily responsibilities of a contract cloud computing expert, including the skills and education you must possess to excel in this position. 

Daily Responsibilities 

Cloud computing is a relatively new technology, meaning that the responsibilities of an expert in this capacity are widely based on developing, evolving and growing concepts. The daily responsibilities of a cloud computing expert are highly dependent on the organisation's needs. However, there are a variety of speciality duties that you would be likely to perform.

 Key examples of these include:

  • Develop and implement AWS applications, focusing on data processing, statistical modelling, and analytics, under lead architects' guidance
  • Participate in the entire software development lifecycle for AWS solutions, including planning, requirements, development, testing, and quality assurance
  • Troubleshoot incidents, identify root causes, fix and document problems, and implement preventive measures
  • Educate teams on new cloud-based initiatives and provide training as needed
  • Demonstrate strong problem-solving skills, proactively addressing issues to prevent disruptions in business productivity
  • Design and deploy cloud infrastructure, ensuring scalability, redundancy, and cost-effectiveness
  • Build and deploy cloud-based applications, collaborating with developers and integrating various cloud services
  • Ensure security and compliance in cloud environments, monitoring threats and resolving issues to mitigate risks

Transformative technologies excelling rapidly means that additional and new duties would likely keep pace with cloud technology integration. 

Essential Skills and Experience 

Typically, cloud computing experts require vast specialist knowledge from a solid educational and experience-led background. Contract workers must possess various skills to meet tech demands for this specific role. 

Some key examples of the necessary skills and experience that organisations are searching for concerning this tech contract job include:

  • Proficiency in the operations of cloud platforms: Azure and AWS are the typical major platforms that contract workers must understand well
  • A Bachelor’s degree or above in computer science, mathematics, information technology or another relevant subject
  • Knowledge of significant web services: REST, RPC and API are the most commonly used
  • More than three years of expertise in creating, planning, building, and launching cloud solutions on AWS platforms
  • Familiarity and hands-on experience with the five pillars of a well-architected framework
  • Hands-on expertise across multiple domains such as database architecture, ETL, business intelligence, big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics.
  • Proficiency in collaborative work with diverse teams involving business analysts, developers, data scientists, and subject-matter experts.

As a contractor, if you present cloud-relevant skills and experience, they will likely relax set educational requirements depending on their candidate base and need for your expertise. 

The cloud is being utilised for various purposes, from enabling remote work and online collaboration to supporting AI-powered applications and facilitating edge computing. This widespread adoption underscores the central role of cloud computing in reshaping how businesses operate.

If you are a contractor with the above skills and experience, cloud computing is needed in almost every industry, sector and organisation. This means that you will be equipped not only for jobs specifically with tech companies but also for organisations across diverse sectors adopting cloud services due to their scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.

2. Cybersecurity Consultant 

Next on our list of top tech contract jobs, we explore the world of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity jobs are exploding due to a perfect storm of factors. Hackers are bolder, data breaches hit the headlines, and digital transformation exposes new vulnerabilities. Businesses are aiming to protect themselves, investing heavily in security measures and creating an increase in demand for qualified professionals. This skills gap offers opportunities for anyone with cybersecurity expertise in threat prevention, incident response, or cloud security. 

As tech and our reliance on it continues to grow, the threats of cyber attacks grow linearly. As a contract professional with experience in cybersecurity, your knowledge and expertise can provide organisations with short-term cyber assessments, structural testing, and development that they need to grow their tech safely. 

Cybersecurity job vacancies have grown by 350 per cent in under a decade, presenting the need for qualified individuals to perform testing and security audits and develop strategies and software to mitigate any possible attacks. 

Let's take a closer look at the day-to-day duties of a cybersecurity consultant operating on a contract basis and the essential skills and educational background required for success in this role.


The duties of this tech contract job are typically composed of various tasks related to the direct management of cybersecurity systems and forming security plans for organisations in the long term. Key examples of these include:

  • Analyse an organisation's IT infrastructure to pinpoint potential weaknesses vulnerable to cyberattacks
  • Simulate real-world cyberattacks to discover exploitable vulnerabilities and evaluate existing security controls
  • Create and implement robust security policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations
  • Assist clients in responding to security incidents, minimising damage, and investigating the root cause of attacks
  • Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of human error-related breaches
  • Recommend and implement security tools and technologies, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption solutions
  • Communicate complex security findings and recommendations to both technical and non-technical audiences within the client organisation

Essential Skills and Experience 

To perform the technical and security-focused tasks listed above, a contract professional must also possess and have the technical capacity to:

  • A bachelor's degree in computer science, cybersecurity, information security, or a related field is preferred
  • Industry certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or Security+ can enhance your profile
  • A deep understanding of cybersecurity concepts, threats, attack vectors, and mitigation strategies
  • Expertise in security tools and technologies, encompassing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, vulnerability scanners, and security information and event management (SIEM) devices
  • The ability to analyse complex security data, identify vulnerabilities, and recommend effective solutions
  • Effectively communication skills, including the ability to discuss technical concepts with diverse audiences
  • Manage cybersecurity projects within budget and timeframe constraints
  • Handle multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines efficiently
  • Remain up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats and prevention methods

Having current expertise in cybersecurity and a grasp of attack prevention will significantly enhance your desirability as a contractor. The rapid and continuous evolution of technological advancements necessitates ongoing cyber protection, making this tech contract position one of the most in-demand career paths across industries.

3. AI/ML Engineer 

Despite continuing to be a widely debated and often controversial topic, the surge of AI and machine learning continues to progress, creating a demand for skilled professionals capable of navigating the evolving landscape and integrating these technologies into various aspects of daily life and business activities. This ongoing development has resulted in an increased need for experts who can provide short- and long-term assistance with the architecture, implementation, and integration of AI solutions.

As AI and machine learning technologies advance, organisations increasingly require the expertise of contract workers. Contract professionals are vital in offering industry-specific skills to develop and deploy AI and machine learning models tailored for diverse applications. They often use specific projects to improve machine learning and incorporate AI into everyday work.

Businesses harnessing the powers of AI and MI can pay for the specific expertise that a contract professional functioning in this industry can offer. Their ability to move between various working environments can provide organisations with different perspectives and methods surrounding the integration of intelligent technologies.

Now, let's explore the daily responsibilities associated with the role of an AI/ML engineer and the essential skills and educational qualifications required. 

Daily Responsibilities 

Contract workers who aim to work with artificial intelligence or machine learning will be required to take on various daily tasks associated with developing, transforming and integrating knowledge engineering. Examples of these vital daily duties include:

  • Designing, developing, and researching Machine Learning systems and models.
  • Transforming data science prototypes and selecting appropriate datasets.
  • Performing statistical analysis to enhance model performance.
  • Training and retraining ML systems for continuous optimisation.
  • Identifying differences in data distribution for real-world adaptability.
  • Visualising data to gain deeper insights and rank ML algorithms.
  • Applying findings to critical business decisions.
  • Enriching existing ML frameworks and ensuring data quality through cleaning.

Essential Skills and Experience 

There are several essential skills and expertise that companies are looking for in an AI/ML tech contractor to enable them to adhere to project and responsibility demands. Examples of these include the following:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Computer Science, Data Science, or related field.
  • Proficiency in Python or R and familiarity with machine learning frameworks (TensorFlow, PyTorch).
  • Experience in data preprocessing, cleaning, and visualisation, with the ability to analyse large datasets.
  • Design and development of ML models and algorithms, including hands-on experience with supervised and unsupervised learning.
  • Knowledge of databases, data storage systems, and data collection processes.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, including identifying business problems suitable for ML solutions.
  • Stay updated on the latest ML trends and technologies through active participation in ongoing education and workshops.
  • Effective communication of technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, coupled with collaborative work with cross-functional teams, including data scientists and engineers.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used in nearly every industry, and more than 80% of companies utilise the advantages of integrating them into their operations.

4. Full-Stack Developer 

Full-stack developers, equipped with industry knowledge spanning both back and frontend, are relied upon by employers across several sectors. Their role involves creating end-to-end solutions and navigating the complexities of modern software development. Their importance lies in their versatility, cost-effectiveness, and ability to contribute to faster development cycles, making them invaluable assets for businesses seeking support in a changing tech landscape. 

Contract full-stack developers typically design and manufacture a variety of applications for multiple industries. They work on both the client-side and server-side of software development, providing immediate support to organisations that want to optimise their websites and applications internally and externally. 

We will next explore the daily responsibilities of a full-stack developer, including the skills and education you must possess to meet position requirements.


A full-stack developer’s responsibilities typically are based on ensuring a seamless user experience interaction and performance optimisation. The essential duties of this position include:

  • Constructing and maintaining server-side logic with languages such as Python, Java, PHP, or Node.js
  • Designing and overseeing databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB for storing and accessing web application data
  • Incorporating third-party APIs and services into web applications for added functionality
  • Identifying and resolving bugs in both the front-end and back-end of web applications
  • Utilising systems like Git for tracking and managing code changes
  • Effective collaboration with clients, designers, and fellow developers to ensure project success
  • Forming user interfaces (UIs) using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js

Essential Skills and Experience 

A career in development involves continuously learning and staying up to date with programming languages and the latest evolving technologies. Let’s discuss the typical skills employers are looking for in their full-stack developers, including:

  • A bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field
  • A portfolio showcasing past projects
  • Proficiency in various programming languages (both front-end and back-end), including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, databases, APIs, and version control systems
  • Practical problem-solving abilities to address technical challenges efficiently
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills for successful collaboration with clients and team members
  • Strong time management skills to meet project deadlines
  • Self-motivation and initiative when working independently on projects
  • Adaptability and flexibility to learn new technologies and adapt to evolving project requirements

This in-demand profession is most prominent in telecommunications, eCommerce, finance, education, and healthcare. It provides a range of versatile skills related to developing, creating, and designing digital platforms. 

5. DevOps Engineer

Last but not least, on our list of top 5 tech contract jobs are DevOps engineers. The need for DevOps engineers on a contract basis is growing, driven by the rising emphasis on cloud-based technologies, containerised applications, and an increased emphasis on automation. Businesses seek qualified professionals who can effectively bridge the gap between development and operations, making skilled DevOps experts highly sought-after.

Contract DevOps engineers are crucial in meeting this demand by providing targeted, focused, and timely support to businesses navigating change. Their expertise becomes particularly valuable in environments experiencing an increased adoption of DevOps practices, a shift toward cloud computing, and the growing complexity of modern software systems.

A recent survey showed that over 78% of organisations need new skills because of adopting DevOps. DevOps engineers play a key role by combining software development and IT systems to automate software application creation, testing, and overall process.

Organisations today prioritise faster time-to-market and overall efficiency, leading to the heightened relevance of contract DevOps engineers. These professionals offer short-term aid to businesses looking to streamline their processes.

Now, let’s explore a DevOps engineer's typical responsibilities and duties, including the skills and educational qualifications for this role.

Daily Responsibilities 

Like other tech contract jobs, this role contains various specialist elements directly related to ensuring the automation and implementation of specific systems and applications. Some examples of the critical responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include:

  • Automating workflows for streamlined software delivery
  • Managing IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, and cloud resources
  • Deploying and monitoring applications to ensure performance and scalability
  • Implementing security best practices and ensuring compliance
  • Collaborating with diverse teams and stakeholders
  • Identifying and resolving technical issues across the development and operations pipeline
  • Working with tools like Jenkins, AWS, Docker and Git
  • Consistently keep up with industry trends to create original and innovative solutions

Essential Skills and Experience 

This specialist tech contract job requires various skills, education, and experience to ensure that they can perform the daily technical responsibilities. These include:

  • Possession of a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, information technology, or a related field of study
  • Preferred qualifications include key certifications such as Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), Certified Jenkins Engineer (CJE), or AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
  • Problem-solving abilities and adaptability to evolving tech landscapes
  • Technical proficiency in scripting languages, CI/CD tools, containerisation technologies, cloud platforms, and infrastructure management tools
  • Proficient in Linux-based infrastructure management
  • Strong understanding of Ruby, Python, Perl, and Java
  • Database configuration and management expertise (MySQL, Mongo)
  • Skilled troubleshooting capabilities
  • Hands-on experience with DevOps tools (Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, Ansible) and cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)

Possessing the experience relevant to working as a DevOps engineer can increase the number of jobs in other industries. According to a recent study, by 2025, over 85% of organisations will follow the principle of cloud-first, highlighting the sheer variety of opportunities in other sectors. 

DevOps engineers typically work in healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and eCommerce. 

Top Tech Contract Jobs: Final Thoughts 

As transformative technologies continue to reshape industries, the popularity of contract jobs is expected to grow. These jobs offer contract professionals a variety of opportunities to contribute to the innovative tech ecosystem. 

The rise in organisations recognising the benefits that contractors can bring, coupled with an increase in advertised tech contract jobs, reflects the changing landscape of the job market overall, opening new doors for contract workers. As contractors continue to develop their skills, knowledge, and education in evolving tech, they will be equipped to support the development of nearly every industry. 

Experts in Contract Recruitment 

Our specialist consultants have been connecting exceptional tech contract talent with the most innovative businesses for over two decades. We have a variety of expertise that spreads out across multiple industries, helping our candidates find their next job or life-changing career and make an impact. 

We are proud to say that we are a global recruitment agency with offices spanning the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East, meaning that we can assist you in finding the right next step for you, no matter the location. 

Contact us today to see how we can assist you in your career development.