The most in-demand freelance jobs right now — and how to bag one

The most in-demand freelance jobs right now — and how to bag one

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Professionals with expertise in data analytics, virtual assistance programming and machine learning are enjoying lucrative remote working opportunities, according to a new report highlighting the fastest-growing freelance jobs. Demand for data analytics professionals rose 58.9% last quarter, making it the most sought-after skill right now, according to freelance online marketplace Freelancer in its new Fast 50 jobs report. Appetite for virtual assistant experts surged 55.6%, making it the second most in-demand capability, while Microsoft Office skills were the third hottest for freelancers, up 54.2%, the study noted. The three top skills rank within a wider list of growing demand for freelancers with tech expertise, from machine learning to systems engineering, computer security and even design. And, according to Freelancer’s CEO, Matt Barrie, they speak to a wider surge in freelance positions as more businesses shift to move their workforces online. “I think it’s going to play out like cloud computing,” Barrie told CNBC Make It in Sydney, Australia. “In the future — or really, starting from now — every business is going to have a local, physical workforce, and they’re going to have a virtual workforce.” “The physical workforce is going to do the core work of that business. You might need to keep that local because it requires certain customer interactions or intellectual property that you want to keep in-house. But then for your depth and your breadth, you’ll have a virtual workforce,” he said. Barrie said that provides increasing opportunities for skilled employees to transition to freelance roles. U.S. consulting firm McKinsey estimates that around 27% of U.S. workers are engaged in freelance work — a number that’s expected to rise to around 50% in 2030. For a third of those freelancers, the work can be precarious or “reluctant,” the report found. However, Barrie noted that freelance work can also offer great opportunities, flexibility and, indeed, pay. “The great thing about that is you get exposed to so many things that you wouldn’t get in a traditional jobs market,” said Barrie. “It is a lot more flexible and gives you a lot more opportunity. But you do have to be constantly skilling yourself up and constantly agile.” The highest paying jobs tend to be those that require “high education, great communication, cognitive thought, strategic thinking, creative skills, customer relations, domain expertise,” he said. “They’re the kind of jobs that you want to be getting into,” he added. Getting started Twenty20 1. Know yourself When considering going freelance, the most important thing, first off, is to figure out if it’s the right style of work for you, said Barrie. “Some people like the ability freelancing gives to architect their career, said Barrie. “But not everyone is suited to an environment where, two weeks from now, you might be doing something different.” “Many people like the predictability of knowing what they’re doing day in, day out,” he continued, “so be honest with yourself.” 2. Test the water For many people, the prospect of quitting full-time, paid employment and diving […]

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