These are the most sought-after skills for freelancers in 2022

Upwork, a freelancing platform, says that organizations are looking for skilled workers who can work independently.

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Upwork is a freelancing platform. A trio of listsThe top 10 most-demanded skills for freelancers who work in the tech, marketing, and customer service sectors. 

The Great Resignation is still raging. This refers to a huge spike in workers quitting their jobs. Many skilled workers have quit their jobs due stress, burnout, and many other reasons. Faced with a shortage of workers and the need to fill them quickly, businesses are trying to hire freelancers. 

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The Upwork report on 2022’s top skills for freelancers follows closely behind the publication of this list. The state of freelancing that found plenty of evidence that freelancing—particularly among individuals Upwork considered skilled—is increasing.

SEE: Checklist: Returning to work (TechRepublic Premium)

In 2021, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce were considered freelance. Adam Ozimek, Upwork Chief Economist, said that this is consistent with previous years but with a significant difference. We found a decrease in temporary workers but an increase of skilled freelancing. The decline in temp work and the lower level of freelancing among those with less education is why freelancing has not increased. Ozimek stated that skilled freelancing continues to increase and that those with higher education are now freelancing more than ever. 

Upwork defines skilled freelancers to be those who “indicate that their current freelance job entails selling skillful services,” which includes programming, writing, and IT, as well as other professions that need a college degree. Upwork reported that 53% of skilled freelancers will be qualified in 2021. This was an increase of 3% over the previous year. 

“Our data shows that there is a great demand for a wide range of professional skills. However, businesses large and small are changing their approach to finding talent and turning to freelancers to fill critical skill gaps,” stated Margaret Lilani (VP of talent solutions at Upwork). 

In 2022, the most in-demand skills for freelancers

How do you prepare to become a freelancer by 2022? Upwork is for you if you are in the marketing, tech, or customer service industries.

The top 10 most-requested freelance tech skills

  1. Web design
  2. WordPress
  3. Web programming
  4. JavaScript
  5. CSS
  6. HTML
  7. PHP
  8. Shopify
  9. API
  10. Graphic design

These are the top 10 most-requested freelance marketing skills

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Lead generation
  3. Facebook
  4. SEO
  5. Marketing B2B
  6. Instagram
  7. Marketing strategy
  8. Management of social media
  9. Email marketing
  10. Marketing research

These are the 10 most sought-after skills in customer service freelance

  1. Customer service
  2. Customer support
  3. Email communication
  4. Phone support
  5. Email support
  6. Communication etiquette
  7. Chat support online
  8. Answering product questions
  9. Data entry
  10. Administrative support

The most significant year-over-year growth in Upwork is in web programming (43%) YoY growth, web design (31%), and social media advertising (25%). This could be the signal you have been searching for: it may be time to freelance if you are skilled in any of these areas.

Are skilled professionals able to freelancing?

While freelancing can be great: It allows you to have control over your work and your time in a way that working full-time is not possible. However, there are some downsides to this new norm of freelancers. 

Upwork’s post Why freelancers are a good choiceCompanies hire freelancers for cost reduction, liability reduction, and lack of commitment. This makes sense but makes it appear that freelancers can be a way for companies to achieve results without taking on any risk or investing.

SEE: The COVID-19 gender gap – Why women leave work and how you can get them back. (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

There are many articles that list reasons employees quit, most of which boil down to their dissatisfaction at work. Employers are more concerned about solving the Great Resignation than hiring freelancers. 

Time will show whether companies with many freelance workers will continue choosing freelancers to replace permanent staff or if other organizations will opt for them. I reached out to Upwork in an attempt to find out if they had any trends or predictions. If so, I will update this article with any clarifications or responses.

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