What is a consultant job or contract job versus new hire in the web development field?

I am 54 and wants to learn web development & database. Now I was told that I will have more chance as consultant.
Is that mean I can apply for job asking rfor a a “copntract”? like in dice.com? Anything asking for a contract of 3 months , 6 months up to 1 year is a consultant job or contact?

Thx.

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