The top 10 jobs which have shot up the scale this year are Customer Service, Copy Typing, Bookkeeping, Academic Writing, Data Processing, React Native, Statistical Analysis, Machine Learning, Spanish, Algorithm and Virtual Assistant. In addition to these skills, freelancing jobs related to Statistics and Mathematics are Q2 2019’s rising stars, along with Mechanical Engineering. All three categories posted strong gains over the quarter.
Two trends are evident in this quarter’s Fast 50 Report. The first is the rise in skills related to artificial intelligence, such as Machine Learning, Statistical Analysis and Data Processing. Overall, there’s a heavy tech focus in this quarter’s Fast 50.
The second trend is toward a leaner, more distributed workplace. Following on the trend evident in Q1’s Fast 50 Report, more companies are turning to freelancers for their day-to-day operations work, such as Customer Service, Bookkeeping and Copy Typing.
- Customer Service
According to Forbes, AI will eventually do the heavy lifting for most companies’ Customer Service. In the meantime, most customers want the comfort of talking to another human being. Customer Service was the big winner in this quarter’s Fast 50 report, with demand for the skill rising 54.78% in Q2 2019 (from 1,913 to 2,961). The rise in demand for Customer Service is also indicative of the trend towards a leaner, distributed workforce. Turning to freelancers for customer service allows companies to provide 24/7 support, with freelance customer service agents working across time zones and international boundaries.
- Copy Typing
Continuing the trend of the distributed administrative workforce is a strong rise in Copy Typing. The skill saw demand grow by 50.00% in Q2 2019 (from 4,744 to 7,116). Copy Typists specialize in transferring handwritten notes into an editable format. Accuracy and speed are the key skills for copy typists, and hiring a freelancer means companies can quickly and efficiently put jotted meeting notes into a readable and distributable format.
Bookkeeping is yet another administrative skill businesses are handing to freelancers in order to streamline their processes. Demand for Bookkeeping grew 49.19% in Q2 2019 (from 1,047 to 1,562). It’s clear that organizations are seeing the value in focusing their efforts on high value tasks while turning to a distributed workforce to handle administrative tasks.
- Academic Writing
Academic Writing is the first outlier on this quarter’s Fast 50 that doesn’t illustrate the trends of using freelancers for administrative tasks or machine learning and AI. Nevertheless, demand for Academic Writing skills grew by 42.28% in Q2 2019 (from 2,117 to 3,012). Expect some seasonality in this trend, as the quarter corresponded with the end of the semester for colleges and universities.
- Data Processing
The 38.65% rise in demand for Data Processing skills (from 10,896 to 15,107) continues the dominant trend in the Fast 50, the global rise of Big Data and Machine Learning. Data Processing entails collecting data and translating it into useful information. It’s a task usually carried out by data scientists, and is a vital step in creating machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. Big Data and AI are being utilized in every field imaginable, including in the burgeoning cannabis industry.
- React Native
The market for mobile apps is huge, and continuing to grow. According to Statista, global mobile app downloads will grow to 258.2 billion by 2022. Reflecting this trend, demand for React Native skills rose by 37.95% during Q2 2019 (from 1,162 to 1,603). React Native is a framework developed by Facebook for developing native mobile apps for Android or iOS, and as more organizations recognize the opportunity presented by having their own mobile app, we expect demand for skills like this to continue growing.
- Statistical Analysis
Big Data continues to get bigger, and is expected to drive $203 billion USD in revenue for companies in 2019. That data requires sophisticated analysis, so it’s little wonder Statistical Analysis rose in demand by 36.82% (from 1,222 to 1,672). The ability to analyze and visualize large data trends factors heavily into the next skill in the Fast 50, Machine Learning.
- Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence is dominating the news, and is being used for tasks as varied as identifying suicide risk, to financial forecasting to writing car commercials. Technology like the Freelancer API uses machine learning to merge computer intelligence with human ingenuity, allowing machines to find human talent. It’s no wonder, then, that jobs involving Machine Learning saw a 36.66% rise in demand (from 2,144 to 2,930). AI and machine learning engineers are becoming some of the most globally in-demand talent as AI further integrates into daily life, merging human intelligence with computer processing power.
The Freelance Jobs That Saw Demand Decline
Several skills in the Freelancer Fast 50 saw a decline in Q2, though declines in demand were much less pronounced than in Q1, suggesting the freelance marketplace is healthy and robust. The skills that saw the largest declines were PrestaShop, PSD to HTML, Joomla and Writing.
The decline in PrestaShop, a platform for e-commerce sites, is particularly interesting considering the rise in Q1 demand for Shopify skills. Considering PrestaShop and Shopify are competitors, it could be an indication that Shopify is winning the e-commerce war.
However, the freelancing marketplace remains fluid, and skills that fall out of vogue in one quarter can see a huge uplift in demand the next. The overall trend appears to be one in which more businesses recognize the value provided by skilled freelancers. The freelance marketplace is in an excellent position in 2019.
Rising stars: the emerging jobs to watch
Another vital skill for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications, demand for Algorithm skills rose 32.34% in Q2 2019 (from 2,489 to 3,249). Any skill set related to machine learning is set to be in hot demand, with Statistics also rising 31.83% (from 1,800 to 2,373). Freelancers already skilled in this area are perfectly positioned, while those who have yet to skill up should do so now or risk being left behind.
The recent launch of Arrow Plus powered by Freelancer is providing vital engineering solutions to Arrow Electronics’ clients all over the world. The impact of this partnership is already evident, with demand for Engineering skills up 31.93% for Q2 2019. Freelancers with backgrounds in Electrical and Electronic Engineering can also expect to see an uplift in demand for their skills.