Empowering the Freelance Economy

Top in-demand careers and skills for freelancers

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A study analysed search trends and job listings to identify the UK’s most in-demand skills and careers for 2024. With some roles facing less competition than others, choosing the right upskilling path is crucial.

While the findings can be a helpful starting point for job seekers, it’s important to consider other factors beyond just popularity.

For example, the London Office Space study found that data analysts emerged as the most in-demand role. These positions are in high demand due to their critical role in interpreting complex data that drives business decisions across all industries. With 68 job listings open on Glassdoor at the time of writing, this career offers ample opportunities – particularly in the tech and finance sectors. 

LSE Data Analysis for Management Online Certificate Course

Project Manager roles followed closely behind with the second-highest number of monthly searches, highlighting the need for skilled individuals who can lead projects to successful completion. Business Analysts and Software Developers rounded out the top three, reflecting the ongoing demand for IT professionals.

Project management qualifications & training | PFQ | PMQ | PPQ; (apm.org.uk)

Business analysis certifications | BCS

Become a pro-Software Developer | Learning People

These findings are interesting when compared to traditionally popular freelance roles like web development or graphic design. The recruitment statistics suggest a growing demand for data-driven skills and project management expertise. These skills could enhance your existing business.

However, before jumping on the data analysis bandwagon, experts recommend considering your individual strengths and interests. While a career may be in high demand, choosing a field you’re passionate about and having the necessary skills to succeed is important.

For example, business journalists with data analysis skills can unlock new opportunities.. Their ability to translate complex data into clear insights for company profiles, industry trends, and investment analysis makes them valuable to news agencies, startups and large corporations.

The study also highlights the competitive nature of certain fields. Software Development, for instance, boasts many searches but also reveals a limited number of open positions (15 on Glassdoor). This suggests a competitive job market where the number of qualified candidates may outweigh available roles.

Ultimately, the most important factor in deciding to upskill is to leverage your strengths. Use the data from studies like this one as a starting point for your job search, but don’t neglect the importance of self-reflection and exploring your career aspirations.

Here are other in-demand freelance skills in the UK that can potentially pay over £300 per day:

Tech & IT:

  • Software developers with niche languages: With the ever-growing tech industry, skilled developers are always in high demand. Rates can vary depending on experience and the specific technology stack, but some specialists can command daily rates far exceeding £300.
  • Cybersecurity experts: As cyber threats become more sophisticated, businesses are increasingly seeking freelance cybersecurity professionals to protect their systems.

Creative & Marketing:

  • UX/UI Designers: With the focus on user experience, skilled UX/UI designers are highly sought after to create user-friendly and visually appealing interfaces.
  • Marketing Automation Specialists: Businesses are increasingly using marketing automation tools to streamline their marketing efforts, and freelancers with expertise in these platforms can be valuable assets.

Other High-Paying Skills:

  • Copywriters (with a specialisation in a specific industry): Companies are always looking for skilled copywriters to create compelling content for their marketing materials, websites, and other channels. Those with specialist knowledge in a particular sector can command premium rates.
  • Financial Consultants: Businesses requiring temporary financial expertise often look to freelance consultants, and highly experienced individuals can command daily rates exceeding £300.

It’s important to remember that these are just a few examples, and freelance rates can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Your experience and level of expertise
  • The specific skills you offer
  • Your location in the UK (rates tend to be higher in London and other major cities)
  • The client’s budget and industry
  • The nature of the project
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