• Freelancing is a competitive field, and without face-to-face interactions, it can be disproportionately difficult to discern what employers want from you.
  • Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing site, compiled a list of the 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market.
  • Below are the 20 top skills accompanied by online courses you can take to develop and demonstrate your ability.

Working as a freelancer can be exciting, liberating, and convenient, but getting a firm foothold in the space can be especially difficult. Without face-to-face contact and feedback, it can be increasingly hard to discern what employers are looking for in the slew of applications they receive. And as time is limited, no one wants to waste time padding their resume with skills they only believe to be relevant.

But a recent Future Workforce Report from the world’s largest freelancing site makes the process more transparent. Upwork released a quarterly Skills Index that highlights the top 20 fastest-growing skills in the US freelance job market as a way to highlight and anticipate trends. The company calculates year-over-year growth using freelancer billings. Upwork has not yet released data for 2020, but looking at the trend data from 2019 is a useful way to make sure your skills are up to date.

While the application and hiring process can seem opaque, for the first time ever Upwork compared generational differences in hiring managers. Notably, the study found that 48% of younger generation managers (composed primarily of Millennials, with early Gen Z managers included as well) are director-level or higher already, showing they have a huge influence on workforce planning.

“As younger generations ascend in the workforce and become the majority of managers in corporate America they’ll reshape work as we know it,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. “For example, the youngest generations are most likely to freelance. And professionals craving flexibility will increasingly have managers who not only understand this priority but will themselves expect it. We see this clear trend towards more flexible, remote work on the hiring side already based on this year’s Future Workforce Report.”

Another major find of the study was that younger hiring managers are nearly three times more likely to say that individuals should be responsible for their own reskilling as compared to Baby Boomers, which means that learning new skills on your own is becoming increasingly important.

Discover more e-learning classes

The skills highlighted by Upwork experienced a significant boom – more than 120% year-over-year growth in demand. In fact, the top 10 skills experienced more than 400% growth in comparison to this time last year.

Lees ook op Business Insider

You can find the top 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market below, alongside courses you can take (for free or for much less than the cost of a degree) to support claims of aptitude and separate yourself from the pack of applicants.

The online-learning options we included – LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, edX, and Coursera – are among the most popular and inexpensive.

Coursera allows you to take classes from the top universities in the world, nearly all of which are free to audit with a fee of $29 – $160 to add a verified certificate that you can include in your resume and LinkedIn profile. Udemy houses over 65,000 courses and 15 million students in areas such as programming, marketing, and data science most prominently and frequently discounts courses worth $200 by up to 90% off. LinkedIn Learning specializes in software, creatives, and business skills, and comes with a free one-month trial. After that, access is $29.99/month.

Below are the top 20 fastest-growing skills for Freelancers according to Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing site.


1. ServiceNow

Foto: Source: Udemy

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2. DaVinci Resolve

Foto: Source: Udemy

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3. Social video marketing

Foto: Source: Lynda

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4. Highcharts

Foto: Source: Udemy

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5. PyTorch

Foto: Source: Udemy

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6. Keras

Foto: Source: edX

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7. Caspio

Foto: Source: Skillshare

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8. LearnDash

Foto: Source: Udemy

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9. Kendo UI

Foto: Source: Udemy

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10. Technical recruiter

Foto: Source: Coursera

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11. Neo4j

Foto: Source: Udemy

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12. Statistical modeling

Foto: Source: Udemy

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13. Salesforce Lightning

Foto: Source: Lynda

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14. Relational databases

Foto: Source: Udemy

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15. d3.js

Foto: Source: Pexels

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16. Motion graphics

Foto: Source: Lynda

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17. MATLAB

Foto: Source: Udemy

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18. Packaging design

Foto: Source: Skillshare

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19. SEOMoz

Foto: Source: Udemy

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20. Microsoft Azure

Foto: Source: Udemy

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