snydeq writes: The rise of contract and contingent work is shaking up the traditional IT career path, with the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros. "And it's not only nonstop cost cutting that has businesses favoring IT contractors they can bring on — or scale back — as necessary without paying benefits. Emerging platforms, in particular around the cloud, have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape. ... How should you adjust to this shifting employment landscape? Should you broaden your skills or specialize? Should you develop a plan to strike out on your own or double-down on the skills that will remain invaluable for retaining long-term, full-time employment?'