There’s no denying it, the IT industry is a great place to be as there seems to be an endless supply of opportunity. With this opportunity, however, comes choices. As most in the IT industry know, contract work is extremely prevalent. If your resume is out on the job boards, or simply residing in someone’s database, you’re more than likely receiving calls for contracting opportunities on a daily basis.

But what is contract work and why is it so popular? As an IT staffing firm, and since we deal with it every day, we sometimes take this concept for granted. So in this blog, we’ll be examining what contract work is and how it differs from full time employment while also listing both the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. We’ll also be discussing what sets PSCI apart from herd with the unique packages we offer.

Contract Work

The idea of contract work is pretty simple. The worker is hired to perform a certain duty for a certain length of time at an agreed upon hourly wage. PSCI acts as the middle man in this scenario, as we find the worker and present them to the end client. The end client then pays us for that workers services and we in turn pay the worker (but not always in that order).

So why is this option so popular? Let me explain….


As a contract worker, you’re paid more favorably as those employed full time. Employers don’t have to pay contractors benefits, unemployment insurance or paid time off (PTO). That means a contractor is receiving a higher paycheck since these costs aren’t being deducted out.

It also means that you’re paid for the hours you work. If you work 60 hours in a week, you’ll get paid for all 60. A full time employee works off a salary so in theory they could work all 60 but only get paid for 40.

Being a contract employee also allows you greater opportunity to broaden your skill set. Most contracts (at least the ones we see) are written for 6-12 months. While they can be – and often are – extended, they’re still not expected to last a lifetime. This means a contract worker can gain experience on many different projects, across various companies and industries – most of whom are using different technologies, giving the contractor the ability to constantly update their resume with new skills and experiences.


While what I outlined above may seem like being a contract worker is a no-brainer, there are still some disadvantages associated with it. One of those disadvantages, as alluded to earlier, is that the contractor doesn’t receive any benefits (health, dental, 401k, etc.) or PTO from their employer. These must all be purchased at the workers expense – which can be a costly venture. Part of what makes PSCI so appealing, though, is that we do offer our contractors the opportunity to purchase those benefits through us.

Another disadvantage, dependent upon your view point, is that contract work doesn’t offer much in the terms of job security. As already mentioned, most of the contracts we work on are written for 6-12 months in length. Many of these extend – and in some cases convert to full time – but most are completed within a few years. At that time the contractor hits the unemployment line (but hopefully not for long!).

Full Time Work

A full time employee should need no explanation so let’s get right into the advantages and disadvantages.


The primary advantage of full time employment is simple – it’s employment. There’s no better peace of mind than job security and full time work offers just that.

To go along with job security, full time employees also get the advantage of having their company provide them with benefits such as health, dental, retirement (401k match) and PTO. Many find the securities these benefits add to be invaluable and it’s hard to blame them.


After reviewing the advantages afforded contract workers it should be pretty easy to deduce what the main disadvantages of full time employment are. First, the full time employee won’t be making as much (at least not on a per hour basis) as the contractor; second, the full time employee won’t have as many chances to expand and broaden their skill set.

It all comes down to individual preference, however. There is no right or wrong way. What works for one may not work for the other. It all depends on the goals you have set for yourself and your career.

The PSCI Difference

Here at PSCI we work at placing our consultants in both full time and contract roles. Everything that’s already been mentioned also applies to us and to what we can offer. As alluded to earlier, though, there is one unique way in which PSCI sets itself apart.

While we can’t offer full time employment to every contractor – that’s dependent upon the end client and the role – we do offer our contractors the ability to become a salaried employee with PSCI for the length of their contract. This means PSCI pays for a single portion of their benefits (medical, dental, short-term/long-term disability, etc.), while also offering PTO, reimbursement training, bereavement leave, and quite possibly the greatest perk, a 401k match.

It’s quite honestly, the best of both worlds and just another reason why PSCI has maintained itself as one of the best IT staffing firms in the Philadelphia region for the past 20+ years.

What type of employment do you prefer?

Image courtesy of aechan at

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