If it seems like everyone and your grandmother is having an online job on the side these days, that is because they do.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of freelancers in the US has risen by 1 million between 2014 and 2015, and the trend shows no signs of stopping. In fact, a study estimates that by 2020, over 40% of the American workforce, which roughly means around 60 million people, will be independent workers, and the UK and EU are fast behind.
Time flies and 2020 is just around the corner, so it’s best if we start preparing now. If we take a look at the most popular freelancing platforms like Upwork or Elance, we can see clear statistics on the direction in which the industry is going. For example, the 10 fastest-growing freelance skills have all experienced over 125% year-over-year growth in demand. This means that the younger generations should be focusing on getting training in IT, content marketing and even some new skills that are about to explode.
One of the biggest surprises in the freelancing world comes from the demand for content marketing expertise. Believe it or not, more than 3 in 4 businesses are investing in content marketing. This is mostly due to the fact that it generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. Businesses are looking for people skilled in: proofreading, SEO writing, animation and video editing. On the other hand, creativity no longer cuts it for freelance content writers – they also need to have a set of skills which include WordPress and CSS.
Looking for the next trend in freelancing is just as important as knowing the current ones. For those of you just starting out, skills like data mining, Java and MongoDB are the force of future technologies. If you want to find out more about what businesses are searching for in freelancers, check out our infographic below.