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Contract versus Full Time Employee: A Comparison for IT Professionals

Contract versus Full Time EmployeeIt’s a great time to be an IT professional.  Unemployment in the technology market remains low ( last reported it being around 3.5%). With unemployment being low and the industry vastly growing, it’s giving IT professionals more opportunities to work in a certain role, technology or with a specific company.

Another benefit to being an IT professional is the amount of contracting that happens in this industry.  While contractors exist across many types of jobs, it’s extremely prevalent in technology.  IT professionals get the choice of whether they want to work as an independent contractor or if they want to work full time for their employer.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to working on a contract assignment versus being a full time employee.  It depends on the employee’s situation and what’s right for them.  However, there are pros and cons to both.  If you’re considering moving from a contract role to a full time one (or vice versa) check out our advantages and disadvantages to both below:

The biggest benefit to being an IT contractor is receiving a higher wage per hour than a full time employee would.  Employers don’t have to pay contractors benefits, unemployment insurance or holiday and vacation pay (this can also be found under contractor disadvantages!) so IT contractors are able to make a higher paycheck because those things aren’t being deducted out.

Also, contractors usually work for a specified length of time on a contract.  Working a 6 or 12 month contract allows them to gain experience on many different projects, across various companies and industries.  Additionally, these companies are likely to use different technologies, giving the contractors the ability to constantly add new skills and experiences to their resume.

As we already mentioned above, while contractors make a higher wage than a full time employees in that same role, the contractor does not receive any benefits (health, 401K, etc.) or PTO from their employer.  Contractors need to purchase it on their own, which can be a costly expense.

Another disadvantage is that sometimes contractors don’t feel like they’re apart of the company they work for.  Full time employees get to know each other and build camaraderie.  This can be difficult for contractors as they are only employed for a specified amount of time before they move on to another company.

Full Time Employment
As we just mentioned, full time employees get to know their coworkers and build relationships with them inside the workplace.  This not only helps increase teamwork with in day-to-day projects but also helps with networking for the future.  Full time employees get to know the company as well as the technology they are working with and get familiar with it, making them an expert in their field.

We also mentioned, full time employees get the advantage of having their company provide them with benefits such as health, retirement and PTO.  Some IT professionals value the security these benefits add.

The biggest downside to being a full time employee could be the opposite of what we just listed as a benefit (depending on how you look at it).  Contractors have the ability to work across many industries and with various technologies.  Some IT pros love being able to move around to different jobs and companies.  It could be seen that full time employees are missing out on opportunities to increase their skill-sets or gain additional expertise.


What one IT professional might see as a disadvantage, another might see as a benefit.  It just depends on the goals you have for yourself and your career.  The good news is, that whichever type of role you decide to take, there are plenty of opportunities in the technology field for you today.

EdgeLink is looking for talented IT employees for BOTH contract and full time positions.
View our open jobs here.