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What Freelancer Skills Are In Demand
Michelle P. 1566 Times 1030 People

The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.

Freelancing has seen a wide-spread acceptance among companies in all industries and especially in the IT sector. IT managers claim that hiring freelancers helps them manage their projects more effectively- they can hire temporary workers when the need arises to augment their project team thus avoiding delays and cancellations of projects. 

This hiring strategy has also gained popularity due to the difficulty in finding the technology professionals with the right set of skills. 

According to Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, "The tech talent gap has reached a crisis point and companies are struggling with a widening tech skills gap, particularly in areas such as AI, IoT and robotics. The shortage of skilled tech professionals has become a major concern for companies. To help bridge the gap, companies are innovating their talent strategies by leveraging freelancers with the specialized skills they need to develop new technologies." 

Freelancing is a win-win situation for everyone involved – IT managers and companies benefit as they are able to successfully complete projects in time and within budget and software engineers benefit in terms of experience and higher remuneration as their skills are in demand. 

What are the most sought after freelancer skills that pay top dollars? Here are the skills that IT managers are looking for:

MySQL Programming

MySQL is the most popular Open Source Relational SQL Database Management System.  Despite its powerful features, MySQL is simple to set up and easy to use. It is the most popular database used with PHP. PHP with MySQL is a powerful combination showing the real power of Server-Side scripting.

Average Salary: $46,000 to $99,187 depending on experience.


Twilio API Development

Twilio provides a simple hosted API and markup language for businesses to quickly build scalable, reliable and advanced voice and SMS communications applications. Software developers with skills in Twilio API development are in high demand.

Average Salary: $85,000 per year


Swift Development

Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for Apple. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun produces software that runs lightning-fast.

Average Salary: $80,395 per year


Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing (NLP) is the ability of a computer program to understand human speech as it is spoken. NLP is a component of artificial intelligence. Its application can be seen in voice-activated assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. NLP is one of the most in-demand freelancing skills.

A background in computer science, linguistics and artificial intelligence is a must to work as an NLP programmer and these professionals can command a high salary.

Average Salary: over $100,000 per year


Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows software applications to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed. It uses patterns in data to improve a program's own understanding.

Average Salary: $114,826 per year.


R Development

R is a programming language and software environment used for statistical computing and graphics, such as polls and surveys, which is commonly used by data miners. It’s supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

Average Salary: $76,607 per year.


Node.js Development

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js is a runtime system for creating (mostly) server-side applications. It has become wildly popular, with coders everywhere using it to create APIs and build a new matrix of interoperability across the Internet.

Average salary: $107,562 per year


Bluetooth Specialist

Bluetooth is a wireless short-range communications technology standard found in millions of products we use every day – including headsets, smartphones, laptops and portable speakers. Demand for Bluetooth expertise is expected to rise rapidly with elimination of the iPhone 7 headphone jack.

Average salary: IOS Bluetooth QA Engineer at Apple - for example, range between $130,910 and $142,567.

Stripe Specialist

Stripe builds the most powerful and flexible tools for internet commerce. As more and more businesses look for affordable and flexible options to accept payments, they’re turning to freelancers to help them build a payment platform using APIs from payment infrastructures like Stripe.

Average Salary: Stripe specialists charge up to $95 an hour


Information Security

Information security (infosec) is a set of strategies for managing the processes, policies and tools necessary to prevent, detect, document and counter threats to a company’s digital and non-digital data/information. Information-security analysts plan and implement security measures to thwart the increasing number of cyber-attacks and protect a company’s computer networks, data and systems.

Average Salary: over $44 per hour.


User Experience Design

User experience design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful, easy to use, and delightful to interact with. It’s about enhancing the experience that people have while interacting with a company’s product, and making sure they find value in the product.

Average Salary: $87,883.


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