2019 Contract Staffing Trends

What will 2019 hold for technical professionals?

With a growth rate of around 7 percent, 2018 was a great year for companies in the staffing space. 2019 has already begun, but it’s shaping up to be another great year with a variety of market forces coming together to create a dynamic environment for technical professionals across almost all engineering disciplines. With the holidays and the year 2018 disappearing in the rearview mirror, Black Diamond Networks wanted to share or predictions for what consultants and hiring managers can expect to see in 2019.

What’s driving the contract staffing growth?

Market force driving the demand for technical talent is the historically low unemployment rate of around three percent. Simply put, a larger employed workforce makes it harder for companies to attract and retain their best talent.  Adding to the talent shortage, record-low unemployment coupled with increasing wage pressure has made it harder than ever for companies to retain the talent they already employ.

This is especially true in the life sciences and technology and software engineering industries where an aging population, rising healthcare costs, and the increasing prevalence of advanced technologies in the industries in which we frequently place contractors.

Additionally, there’s also a national shortage of STEM professionals further constricting an already tight labor market. It’s projected that given the current graduation rates in STEM-related fields, the United States could find itself short nearly 5 million technical professionals by 2050.

A combination of a lack of skilled workers, educational factors, and geography and demographical figures all play a role in creating this shortfall.

Where can we expect to see growth?

Life sciences and technology:

Clinical trial scientist.  The global clinical trials market is expected to reach 65.2 billion by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7 percent driven by the development of new treatments, augmenting evolution in technology, and the increasing demand for outsourcing clinical trials to CROs.

Statistician. It’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most heavily regulated on earth. As new medications, devices, and therapies are introduced to the market, expect the need for skilled statisticians to increase with an expected growth rate of 33 percent.

Regulatory affairs scientist. It’s estimated that a full 25 cents of every dollar spent by the American consumer is spent on a product or service that’s regulated by the FDA. The rapid development of new medical technologies and the increasing consumer accessibility to foreign-made products will drive the expected growth of 8 percent in the regulatory affairs space.


Data science and machine learning. Few industries have seen as many advancements over the past decade, as those of data science and machine learning. With vast reams of data and supercomputers to crunch it, the field of machine learning has the potential to change healthcare, business, the automobile, and so much more. Look for growth to continue to accelerate in this space as new companies enter the mix and machine learning finds new uses.

Electrical Engineer. Electrical engineering is another of the more traditional engineering fields that continue to show robust demand.  Between power engineering, instrumentation engineering, electronic engineering, board design, FPGA design, and more, it’s no surprise that annual four percent growth is forecasted for the profession through the year 2024.

Project Engineer. Project engineers are a necessity for almost every branch of engineering. While any engineering degree can be used to pursue project management, the multidisciplinary nature of the role should make it increasingly important to have a project manager on your team.

Information Technology

Cybersecurity engineer. In a world of DDOS attacks, phishing schemes, malware, and ransomware, it’s becoming increasingly important for corporations to prioritize cybersecurity to protect their business interests. It’s estimated that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of companies— depending on the industry—experienced some form of cybersecurity event in 2018.  Given that scary figure, it’s should come as no surprise that employment for cybersecurity specialists is expected to increase by 28 percent by 2024.

Looking for your next contract position?

2019 is poised to be another great year for technical professionals interested in finding consulting positions in the life sciences, biologics, technology, IT, and engineering industries. At BDN, we only match skilled consultants with companies operating at the top of their fields. To view our open positions, please visit www.blackdiamondnet.com/jobs or drop us a line at 800.681.4734.

Interested in permanent opportunities? Visit our partners at rivergrouptech.com or give them a call at 9784749980 x 9790.

You May Also Like