Freelancing has taken off in the era of COVID-19, and these career paths are in high demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted much longer than most of us had hoped. And as we enter another month with the virus showing no signs of slowing down, there’s pretty much no room for doubt. We’re in this, and we’re going to be here for quite some time.
The New Normal
A lot of conventional businesses are struggling to survive. Many have had to lay off employees indefinitely. Others have had to shut down operations altogether. The pandemic has changed the nature of work today. For many, ‘business as usual’ is unsustainable in this environment. To stay afloat many businesses have had to shift to a remote work model, and remote work is probably here to stay. Likewise, many traditional employees have had to turn to freelance work to survive these trying times.
The Freelance Movement
The freelance movement has grown a lot over the last decade. And, it seems to be accelerating in light of the pandemic. Job security has taken on a new meaning. People are ditching the scripted life and flocking to freelancing. Freelancing, in general, is booming. However, particular freelance career paths are experiencing exponential growth. Yahoo Finance recently compiled a list of the top 25 freelance jobs that are flourishing during COVID-19. You can check out the complete list here. We’re recounting the key findings for you below:
COVID-19 Freelance Job Growth
According to the most recent Fast50 report from Freelancer.com, freelance opportunities rose by 41% in Q2 2020, compared to Q2 2019. Jobs rose from 429,000 to 605,000 on the platform. Certain industries experienced incredible growth. Advanced technical skills grew the most. Coming in at the number one spot on the list, the demand for mathematical modeling skills grew by 99.6%. API skills were a close second place, growing by 91%. XML, a coding language that is similar to HTML, came in third with demand growing by 89 percent. Here are the top ten skills:
Mathematics (Matlab and Mathematica Algorithm) — 99.6%
API — 91%
XML — 89.9%
Project Management — 86.2%
Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil) — 80.7%
Adobe Flash — 76.2%
Statistics and Statistical Analysis — 74.4%
Legal and Legal Research — 68.1%
Game Design — 68%
Game Development — 64.0%
The rise in the demand for data-crunching skills correlates to the higher volume of data tracking and analysis during the pandemic. Employers from the government, healthcare, business, and media sectors are hiring freelancers with data-crunching expertise. Computer and engineering skills are consistently in demand. And it seems that project management could be on the rise to help businesses adapt to the remote work model. Lastly, gaming has been growing for a while now. People are spending more time indoors and the rise of e-Sports. It follows that the industry demand is on the rise.
Freelance Jobs in Decline
Though freelancing as a whole is growing, certain job fields are in decline. Jobs that aren’t as technical, like general admin and virtual assistant jobs, are in decline. Many people are capable of polishing resumes and emails and filling excel spreadsheets. Like the overall job market, freelancing is trending towards more valuable knowledge work. If you want to carve out a flourishing freelance career that will stand the test of time, you’d benefit from pursuing something more technically advanced.