The 20 hottest freelance skills that will help you land a gig

Big data interpretation remains a major focus for employers looking for candidates, according to an Upwork report.

The 20 hottest freelance skills that will help you land a gig

The rise of flexible freelancing and contract work has more people moving from the corporate office to the gig economy. Americans spent more than 1 billion hours per week freelancing in 2018, according to an Upwork report. Gig work is particularly popular with young employees, so freelancing numbers are expected to increase as 61 million Gen Zers enter the workforce in the next few years.

SEE: Telecommuting policy (Tech Pro Research)

With the gig economy projected to be flooded with new talent, competition will also rise in securing gig employment, according to a new Upwork report released on Tuesday. To help employees prepare, the report compiled the following list of the 20 fastest-growing skills in the US freelance job market in Q4 of 2018:

  1. Hadoop
  2. Dropbox API
  3. Genetic algorithms
  4. Microbiology
  5. Computational linguistics
  6. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  7. Digital signal processing
  8. Intercom
  9. Interactive advertising
  10. Invision
  11. Employee training
  12. Kubernetes
  13. OAuth
  14. Autodesk Revit
  15. App store optimization
  16. App usability analysis
  17. Vue.js framework
  18. Learning Management Solution (LMS) consulting
  19. 3D scanning
  20. React.js framework

The majority of these skills (75%) are brand new to the list, demonstrating how quickly trends in the tech industry and gig labor market fluctuate, the report said. Previously, blockchain was the fastest-growing and most in-demand skill for freelance workers, but the crown has now been taken by big data--a tool dominating the enterprise and advancing business analytics.

"Businesses are placing a greater emphasis on skills training, investing in the workforces they have today and the one they will need tomorrow," said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork and co-chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on the New Social Contract, in a press release. "Freelancers know that skills are what matter most and are more likely than traditional employees to participate in skills-related education."

If you're interested in gaining big data skills, check out this TechRepublic article for advice on how to choose the right data science program.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The popularity of freelancing may cause a talent shortage in the gig economy. -- Upwork, 2019
  • Big data topped the list of the hottest freelancing skills in Q4 of 2019. -- Upwork, 2019

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