While onsite employment has been stagnant, demand for online workers increases

With the explosion of smartphone technology this year, freelance developers have found lots of work.

Elance, an online firm that helps businesses hire and manage online instead of onsite, says that 2010 broke records for online work adoption. This was due mainly to the explosion of the smartphone market.

According to ComScore, over 45.5 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone in 2010, and it's the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market. Elance says that this jump translated into a 98% growth in the number of jobs posted on its site by businesses seeking mobile developers this year alone and it's expected to continue to accelerate into 2011.

Here are some other skill areas that saw a sharp increase in online workers:

  • SEM (search engine marketing) was up 53% in job postings-SEM is internet marketing that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages through the use of SEO, paid placement , contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.
  • iPhone development-35% increase.
  • Google App Engine (a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers) was up 32%.
  • Job postings for HTML5 programmers and developers was up 31%.

If any of these look enticing to you, look into them. Calvin Sun wrote a piece for TechRepublic that gives some great legal advice for those entering the freelance or consultant realm.