Which freelancers skills are in highest demand?
There are numerous pros and cons to working as a freelancer and one of the most important things to know before you begin your self-employed journey is whether your freelancers skills are in demand.
In a recent Future Workforce report, 53% of managers said that having access to necessary skills was their biggest hiring challenge.
As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to retrain in the areas which are most needed.
Here are the five most in-demand skills, according to Upwork’s Q2 Skills Index. If you don’t currently have the skills needed for these, don’t worry, it’s never too late to learn!
Top five most sought after freelancers skills
Lots of us will have heard about Blockchain but I doubt as many of us could really explain it or use it. This is probably why over the course of a one-year period, Google search requests for the keyword ‘blockchain’ have increased by 250%.
The potential uses for blockchain technology are numerous. It could be applied to almost any form of record-keeping, agreement, contract or register. For example, when we buy or sell a house, the number of different parties involved means it’s a complex, slow and potentially risky transaction. Blockchain could offer a more transparent and secure way of processing title deeds.
Blockchain is not only driving demand for technology experts but consultancies are also hiring writers who can explain how it works. There are courses out there if you want to join the revolution.
- Google Cloud Platform
Cloud computing means that businesses no longer have to buy applications that only work on non-shareable hard drives. Services can now be paid for on demand and can be accessed by multiple parties when they’re needed via the internet.
Google Cloud Platform offers a large array of services and can be great for smaller businesses but if you don’t have anyone who can implement and maintain cloud computing then it’s going to be very time consuming.
As a freelancer who specialises in Google Cloud Platform, you can support businesses in the migration of their IT services to the cloud.
Volusion is one of the larger ecommerce online store builders that allow you to start selling your products without having to know how to create code and be a professional web developer.
Since it was conceived, about 18 years ago, Volusion has helped over 30,000 merchants to set up online stores. Think of it the same way that you would an online website creator, such as, Wix.
Although Volusion is fairly easy to use and guides users through step by step, not everyone will have the time or confidence to learn how to use it themselves. That’s why knowing all about Volusion and how to use it can be a great freelance career option.
With online shopping continuing to increase, retailers know just how important having an online store is.
- Risk consultancy
With an uncertain economic future ahead of Brexit, recent terrorist attacks and more scrutiny on businesses to act responsibly, managing risk is big business.
Companies are putting greater emphasis on overall risk management and according to Deloitte’s Global Risk Management Survey, having an independent risk management function is a regulatory expectation today. The study also found that 72% of institutions reported that their board risk committee is chaired by an independent director, while 67% have a risk management expert on their committee.
- Product photography
This is the first time that product photography has appeared on Upwork’s list and perhaps it’s down to the increase in online retailers. With online shopping accounting for 13% of retail sales worldwide, more and more small and medium-sized businesses are setting up online stores.
This growth in eCommerce has created a need for skilled photographers who can take quality product images. Good reviews and detailed product descriptions are important, but 67% of people rate having a good product image top of the list if they’re going to buy.
The rise of a freelance workforce
With the demand for new skills a constant challenge for business, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable employees. Because of this, 95 per cent of companies now use freelancers and the trend looks set to continue.
The freelance model can help companies increase efficiency, particularly in certain sectors like technology, where niche freelancers skills are required for a specific project. Hiring freelancers gives companies the ability to pick and choose between experts for different tasks, rather than expecting too much from underqualified internal teams.
So, if you’ve already got the skills in these growing industries, good news. If not, there are courses available, many of which are online.
If you employ freelancers, there will be HR and payroll considerations. If you’re a freelancer, then the onus is on you to make sure that your tax self-assessment is sent to HMRC each year. Seeking the advice of professionals can avoid costly fines and penalties.
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.