Upwork debuts The Upwork 100, ranking the top 100 in-demand skills for independent professionals

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Upwork, the leading online talent solution, today debuted the first list in a new quarterly series of the hottest skills in today’s U.S. freelance job market. The Upwork 100 ranks the top 100 skills and sheds light on skills that are both quickly growing and also experiencing a high level of demand, providing an indication of current trends in the independent labor market and tech industry.

It also serves as a barometer of the skills businesses are seeking and that independent professionals are providing by balancing real-time insights with consistent patterns based on real work that’s been completed. Its methodology was developed by Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, PhD, and includes his commentary and analysis.

The top 100 skills on Upwork.com in Q3 2019 experienced more than 45 percent year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 percent skills grew more than 260 percent year-over-year. See the full list below.

Top 3 Trends from Dr. Ozimek

Trend #1: U.S. workers are supercharging global business

  • In addition to the many U.S. companies that are hiring U.S. freelancers, 38 percent of the jobs for the Top 100 skills are being hired for by non-U.S. companies.
  • The top 10 countries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) United States 2) Canada 3) United Kingdom 4) Australia 5) India 6) Israel 7) Germany 8) Singapore 9) United Arab Emirates and 10) China.
  • “Digital platforms not only provide businesses with access to a global pool of proven talent but also provide independent professionals with the opportunity to export their skilled services to companies around the world — including in both developed and developing countries. Too often, discussions about global trade focus only on goods; but the U.S. exports a lot of skilled services as well, and there is high demand for U.S. skilled services professionals, and Upwork helps them connect.”

Trend #2: The average hourly rate is higher than the majority of workers in the overall U.S. economy

  • The average hourly rate for the Top 100 skills in Q3 is $43.72, which is:
    • Higher than the median hourly rate for freelancers doing skilled services overall ($28)
    • More per hour than 88 percent of workers in the overall U.S. economy1
  • “Given the highly skilled and in-demand nature of the Top 100, the high rates earned are not surprising. Yet compared to traditional staffing agencies, businesses find online talent solutions to be more cost-effective, easier to use and faster.”

Trend #3: A diverse range of industries in the Fortune 500 leverage independent talent

  • Access to skills and talent scarcity are the biggest hiring challenges; and by 2028, it’s projected that 73 percent of all teams will have remote workers, according to a report.
  • The top 10 industries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) Consulting 2) Internet Software & Services 3) Internet 4) Consumer Discretionary 5) Health Care 6) Consumer Staples 7) Publishing 8) Education 9) Advertising and 10) Specialized Consumer Services.
  • “This data shows that a diverse range of industries are leveraging independent professionals to access the skills they need, when they need them. More than 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork today, and we expect that number to increase.”

The Upwork 100: Q3 2019

1. .NET Core
2. TypeScript
3. Landing pages
4. eBooks
5. Android
6. Electronic design
7. Presentation
8. Sketch
9. Research
10. Technical recruiter
11. Bank reconciliation
12. Slack
13. Google Tag Manager
14. Sourcing
15. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
16. Video post-editing
17. LinkedIn recruiting
18. Data visualization
19. Interviewing
20. Interior design
21. System administration
22. Kubernetes
23. Data scraping
24. Technical documentation
25. Project scheduling
26. Adobe Premiere Pro
27. 2D animation
28. Firebase
29. Customer retention marketing
30. Salesforce Lightning
31. DevOps
32. Selenium
33. Accounts receivable management
34. Microsoft Windows Azure
35. Database design
36. AutoCAD
37. Usability testing
38. C development
39. Accounts payable management
40. Lead generation
41. Product descriptions
42. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
43. Circuit design
44. eLearning
45. Google Docs
46. Docker
47. GitHub
48. Redux for JavaScript
49. Business planning
50. Data entry
51. Motion graphics
52. Infographics
53. Architecture
55. Asana
56. Instagram marketing
57. Shopify development
58. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
59. Architectural rendering
60. PostgreSQL administration
61. Salesforce app development
62. Python
63. Magento 2
64. Link building
65. MongoDB
66. Bootstrap
67. SEO writing
68. Web scraping
69. Animation
70. Network security
71. 3D rendering
72. Agile project management
73. Administrative support
74. Data mining
75. Internet research
76. English grammar
77. Squarespace
78. Elasticsearch
79. Startup consulting
80. AWS Lambda
81. Branding
82. Media relations
83. Appointment setting
84. 3D design
85. Bookkeeping
86. Romance writing
87. Budgeting and forecasting
88. Product design
89. Financial accounting
90. Adobe After Effects
91. Zendesk
92. Accounting
93. Virtual assistant
94. Google Cloud Platform
95. Postgre SQL programming
96. Tax preparation
97. Embedded systems
98. Audio editing
99. Google Analytics
100. Amazon S3

The Upwork 100 Methodology

The goal of the Upwork 100 is to highlight the fastest-growing skills that also have a consistent and substantial level of demand. To do this, using data sourced from the Upwork.com database, we first limit the analysis to skills that are the most in-demand by including only skills that have been in the top 500 on Upwork.com in terms of freelancer billings for the past four complete quarters. Within that, we then rank the top 100 fastest-growing skills based on year-over-year growth rates in freelancer billings for Q3 2019 versus Q3 2018.

The next Upwork 100 report will be released winter 2020.

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