Upwork releases latest Skills Index, ranking the 20 fastest-growing skills for freelancers

Skills related to taxation, automation and L&D saw soaring demand

75% of the top 20 fastest-growing skills were new to the index in Q1 2019

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 14, 2019Upwork ($UPWK), the largest freelancing website, today released its newest quarterly index of the hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market. The Upwork Skills Index ranks the site’s 20 fastest-growing skills in a quarterly series. It sheds light on new and emerging skills and provides real-time validation of current trends in the labor market and tech industry. According to a new report, access to skills and talent scarcity are the biggest hiring challenges.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190514005803/en/

The Upwork Skills Index ranks the site’s 20 fastest-growing skills in a quarterly series (Graphic: B ...

The Upwork Skills Index ranks the site’s 20 fastest-growing skills in a quarterly series (Graphic: Business Wire)

"Labor markets overall are tightening, and for many skills, employers are increasingly struggling to find available workers in their local areas,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Social Contract. “As a result, the array of skills employers are finding through digital platforms is growing, including technical skills like Hadoop and Kubernetes as well as non-technical skills such as taxation and urban planning.”

The 20 fastest-growing freelance skills in Q1 2019 experienced more than 170 percent year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 skills grew more than 370 percent year-over-year.

The top 20 fastest-growing skills, Q1 2019:

  1. U.S. Taxation
  2. Hadoop
  3. Robotic process automation
  4. Explainer videos
  5. Computer aided manufacturing
  6. Financial planning
  7. Urban design
  8. Software documentation
  9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  10. Geospatial
  11. Julia development
  12. Kubernetes
  13. Magento
  14. Employee training
  15. Shopify templates
  16. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  17. Vue.js framework
  18. Leadership development
  19. Architectural rendering
  20. Podcasting

Key Insights

Tax reform, potential Recession spur growth in financial skills

On the heels of the tax reform bill passed in 2018, U.S. Taxation (#1) was this quarter’s fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 freelancers offer on Upwork.com. Those unfamiliar with the new law tapped into the freelance talent pool to help navigate the transition and better understand the advantages and challenges of filing under the new system. Tax season also spurred demand for Certified Public Accountants (#16) and financial planning (#6) specialists.

Automation helps capture business value

Organizations are becoming more automation-savvy, earning robotic process automation (RPA) (#3) a spot on the index for the first time. Unicorns like Automation Anywhere and UiPath are providing solutions to large companies to help automate tasks and processes that have traditionally been done manually by humans. As RPA adoption increases among Enterprises, Forrester estimates that the market will grow to $2.9 billion in 2021 (from $250 million in 2016).

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