The freelance economy has been growing quickly and gaining so much recognition that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is working to produce a “Contingent Worker Supplement” in an upcoming survey being done along with the Census Bureau. Mention the gig economy and many people think of driving taxis, editing content, designing clothing and jewelry, cutting hair or home-sharing with paying guests. No one really knows which industries offer the most jobs to freelancers. But this knowledge is important to both the employers and wanna-be freelancers. Freelancers, so that they can pitch for such jobs and employers, so that they structure their process to hire freelancers to do their work.
FlexJobs, an online marketplace that helps connect freelancers and employers, tracked 50 industries hiring freelancers between December 1, 2015, and March 1, 2016. They found that the top job category for freelancers is computer and IT (not surprisingly), followed by administrative roles, with accounting and finance in third place. These are followed by customer service, software development, medical and health, project management, research analyst, writing then education and training.
Computer and IT: Along with software development, this industry ranks high as a magnet for freelance workers. No wonder we find it at the top of the list.
Administrative: Surprisingly making second place, administrative roles are being filled by freelancers.
Accounting and finance: It comes as no surprise that accounting and finance would be interested in hiring freelancers to help with the job at hand.
Customer service: It’s interesting to note that employers are willing to let freelancers handle their customer service roles, and trusting them with the very reputation of their organizations. Perhaps it stands testimony to the fact that freelancers are delivering high quality and professional services.
Software development: As mentioned above, software development offers great scope for being assigned as a freelance work and tends to figure in the top 10 industries along with computer and IT jobs.
Medical and health: Considered as a direct consequence of the Affordable Care Act’s insistence on all-round health insurance, it was expected that the demand for the various jobs needed by the medical profession would increase.
Project management: This category comes as a surprise for a freelancing task. But then, given the number of failures seen by projects, assigning them as freelance tasks linking payments with deadlines and deliverables is a smart approach to the matter.
Writing: Writing was always been in demand as a freelancing job and hence comes as no surprise. The surprise lies in why it ranks so low on the list, while graphic design does not even figure on it.
Education and training: Training and education were bound to be on this list given how many educational institutions are hiring professors for the term of a semester.
The surprises on this list demonstrate the active interest taken by employers, to identify new roles which can be executed by freelancers. They’re also moving some of these tasks online and getting excited to have freelancers bring in niche skills to execute the tasks for them.
Freelancers should note that they need to keep their skill sets current and stay on top their game, if they wish to enjoy continued access to an abundance of opportunities. If you’re a freelancer, you may also choose to specialize in some key areas of your respective profession because specialists often receive higher pay than generalists. One way to do it is to keep tabs on the opportunities available to you out there.
Do you see an industry trend for freelancers not covered here? Let us know what it is in the comments.
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