| Share

Freelancer.com reveals the fastest growing online jobs in 2018



Jobs aimed at developing, populating, promoting and marketing websites were among the fastest growing areas of online work in 2018, according to the latest Freelancer.com Fast 50 Report.

SYDNEY, 15 January, 2019: The vital importance of an online presence in today’s business landscape was driven home in 2018, with jobs aimed at developing, populating, promoting and marketing websites among the fastest growing areas of online work last year, according to Freelancer.com’s latest Fast 50 Report.

The Freelancer.com Fast 50 Report charts the quarterly movement of the top 50 fastest growing and declining job categories on the Freelancer.com marketplace, which claims more than 31 million users around the world and has facilitated over 15 million jobs to date. This special edition of the Freelancer.com Fast 50 Report looks closely at the big job trends that dominated 2018 and also provides a snapshot of the fastest moving job types in Q4, 2018.

Freelancer.com is the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace in the world by number of users and jobs posted, so the depth and breadth of data we are able to draw upon to uncover global online employment trends is unparalleled. This rich insight offers invaluable information to freelancers who want to maximise their skills and ensure they remain up to date and in step with the broader business market, which can be dynamic, with demand changing over time,” said Freelancer.com CEO and Chairman Matt Barrie.

Analysis of nearly two million jobs posted on Freelancer.com in 2018 has revealed that online content was king in 2018, with both the first quarter and the final quarter of the year dominated by growth in jobs focused on the creation of websites and the content that populates them.

A surge in content-heavy jobs during the first three months of 2018 and again in the three months ending December 2018 saw the popularity of skills in writing, design and animation on the Freelancer.com marketplace rise dramatically during the year, compared to the year prior.

This trend appears to give some credence to the proclamation by Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates in a 1996 essay entitled ‘Content is King’ that content is where he expected “much of the real money will be made on the Internet”.

While Gates conceded in his essay that his definition of the term ‘content’ becomes very wide in the context of the Internet, he is clear that opportunities would abound for most companies in supplying information or entertainment online.

“The broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment,” Gates wrote. “No company is too small to participate.”

Now, over two decades later, jobs being done online to create content on the Internet are quickly becoming some of the most popular, fastest-growing jobs being done by freelancers on the Freelancer.com marketplace, demonstrating the dominance of content in today’s online world.

Year in review: the fastest moving jobs in 2018

The case for content

A prominent online presence is one of the top currencies of value for organisations today, with more business being conducted online than ever before. This is evident in the sheer volume of new jobs done on the Freelancer.com marketplace in 2018 relating to web development and the creation of content for use online, along with jobs aimed at boosting the online presence of those websites.

Indeed, jobs aimed at getting compelling digital content online heavily populated the fastest growing job categories in 2018, with categories such as Writing, 2D Animation, Illustrator and After Effects all dominating the list top 25 fastest growing jobs over the course of 2018.

Writing was by far the fastest growing job category in 2018, growing by 537.5% compared to the previous year. Academic Writing also saw substantial growth over the year, claiming a place in the top 10 fastest growing skills categories for 2018.

Two other important areas in the creation of online content that were in the top 20 fastest growing areas in 2018 were Blog Writing jobs, which grew by 146.6% year-on-year, to 4,537 jobs in the category in 2018, and SEO Writing -- such an important tool for businesses wanting to build their online presence -- which rose by 84.8%, claiming 2,590 jobs.

2D Animation, meanwhile was one of the top five fastest growing categories for the 12 months ending December 2018, seeing a 167.6% increase compared to the year ending December 2017, with 3,747 jobs done in the category.

After Effects, software typically used for digital visual effects and motion graphics, enjoyed an 83% year-on-year increase, with more than 26,000 jobs in the category being done in 2018. At the same time, jobs featuring Illustrator, Adobe’s popular vector graphic editing software, rose by 84.3%, with more than 109,000 jobs in this category being done during 2018. Both After Effects and Illustrator were included in the top 20 fastest growing skills areas in 2018.

Jobs involving another popular Adobe product, InDesign, also rose during the year, claiming thousands of jobs. Indeed, jobs utilizing the desktop publishing and typesetting software increased by 65%, claiming more than 10,700 projects during 2018.

Where’s your website?

If jobs involving the creation of digital content for online use were among the top growing areas during 2018, the it should come as no surprise that jobs involving the creation of the websites on which to put that content also dominated the top growing categories during the year.

Web Development, for example, grew by 92.3% during the year, with 9,632 jobs in the category being done during 2018.

Moreover, other jobs playing a major role in web development, such as Django, the open-source web framework used to create database-driven websites, were also fast growers during the year. Django jobs specifically rose by 68.3% year-on-year in 2018, with more than 4,500 jobs in the discipline being done during the year.

Likewise, Express JS, the web application framework for Node.js that it typically used for creating web and mobile applications, also grew markedly during the 12-month period, experiencing a 128.4% year-on-year rise in 2018, claiming over 2,600 jobs.

React.js, the open-source JavaScript library often used to develop user interfaces for mobile applications or single page applications (SPAs) on the web, meanwhile, grew by 81.4% during the year, claiming 7,604 jobs over the 12-month period.

Tying into web development is API  (Application Programming Interface), which was the second fastest growing job category in 2018. Jobs involving APIs -- the set of tools and protocols used for building application software and also an important tool for the development of websites -- grew by 352.4% in 2018, claiming over 4,600 jobs during the year.

Also playing an increasingly important role in the development of e-commerce websites is the jobs category of Shopify Templates, which grew by 110.7% year-on-year, with over 6,300 jobs in the category. This growth appears to demonstrate the growing interest in e-commerce websites and the accompanying growing demands in services surrounding their development, in this case Shopify.

Of course, once a website is built and ready to go, organisations need to find ways to drive traffic to it; this is especially true for organisations that do the bulk of their business online, like online sellers and marketplaces. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Search Engine Marketing job category grew so quickly during the year, seeing a 66% increasing while claiming 9,413 jobs in 2018.

Jobs on the slide

While jobs involving the creation of web content and the development of places to put it grew substantially during 2018, jobs in other software development areas actually saw a decrease in popularity over the year.

A major marker of this trend was the Software Development job category, which fell by 70.7%, with 9,212 jobs in 2018. By contrast, the Software Development category had over 31,000 jobs in 2017.

The App Designer category also experienced a 70.7% year-on-year fall, to 2,531 jobs in 2018. Likewise, App Developer jobs fell by 66.1%, to 6,070, during the year.

Jobs involving Shopping Carts, digital shopping systems typically used by e-commerce sites to facilitate purchasing by web customers, fell by 65.4% to 5,845, a marked fall from the 16,800 jobs the category enjoyed in 2017. At the same time, Order Processing, often involving the packing and delivery of products ordered online, dropped by 63.2% to 832 jobs in 2018.

The annual decrease in these two job categories may signal waning interest among users in building an e-commerce site from scratch and carrying out tasks manually, with people instead opting for full-service online e-commerce platforms that automate such processes, such as Shopify, an area that saw substantial job growth during the year.

Among the other job areas that saw a substantial fall during the year was the Industrial Design category, which fell by 60% to 1,256. Manufacturing, meanwhile, fell by 59.7% to 1,808. At the same time, Materials Engineering fell by 57.7% claiming just 654 jobs over the course of the year.

Rising stars: the emerging jobs to watch

As noted earlier, e-commerce is an area of rapidly increasing growth in today’s online world, with many businesses making the leap online to sell their goods into a broader, global market. This can be seen in the surge of jobs involving e-commerce platform Shopify, including Shopify Templates, which collectively saw some growing interest and volume in 2018.

Shopify jobs typically include things like managing inventory, HTML or CSS code editing and creating discount codes or coupons, while Shopify Templates jobs involve the creation of templates for online stores on the Shopify e-commerce platform.

While not in the top 25 fastest growing jobs in 2018, the Shopify category enjoyed a 21.7% year-on-year increase 2018, with 13,177 jobs done in the category. As noted previously, Shopify Templates jobs also saw rapid growth during the year.

Machine Learning is another area that is fast becoming a dominant skills area. Machine Learning, which plays a core role in the development of Artificial Intelligence, focuses on automatically recognizing complex patterns and making intelligent decisions based on available data. This branch of study develops algorithms for computers to evolve behaviors based on available data. Machine Learning jobs grew by 71.7% in 2018, with over 7,400 jobs being done in the category.

The Blockchain category, involving jobs dealing with the distributed digital ledger that is used to maintain the continuously growing list of records underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and other applications in fields like finance and supply chain systems, also saw substantial growth in 2018.

Indeed, Blockchain jobs surged in popularity, becoming the second fastest-growing category during the year, rising by 300.8% compared to the previous year. In 2018, there were more than 5,400 jobs in the category, compared to just 1,361 in 2017.

Data Mining, the practice and process of deciphering and extracting patterns from data, is also an area to watch. Data Mining is becoming an invaluable tool for the increasingly large number of organisations doing business over the Internet, and often plays into the hands of Machine Learning, which typically makes use of rich, often exhaustive data sets to train software and help it ‘learn’ new behaviours. In 2018, Data Mining jobs enjoyed 37.1% growth, equating to 11,243 jobs in 2018.

The full Freelancer.com Fast 50 Annual Report for 2018 can be found below:

The 50 Fastest Moving Jobs in 2018


Rank

Job Category

2017

2018

Change (%)

1

Writing

1343

8537

535.67 %

2

API

1037

4691

352.36 %

3

Blockchain

1361

5455

300.81 %

4

Academic Writing

2828

8644

205.66 %

5

2D Animation

1400

3747

167.64 %

6

Social Media Management

1069

2752

157.44 %

7

Blog Writing

1840

4537

146.58 %

8

Express JS

1144

2616

128.67 %

9

Shopify Templates

3015

6352

110.68 %

10

Drawing

1349

2711

100.96 %

11

Excel VBA

1202

2353

95.76 %

12

Web Development

5009

9632

92.29 %

13

Hindi

1522

2889

89.82 %

14

SEO Writing

1402

2590

84.74 %

15

Illustrator

59188

109056

84.25 %

16

After Effects

14395

26349

83.04 %

17

React.js

4191

7604

81.44 %

18

DNS

1201

2127

77.10 %

19

PhoneGap

2736

4753

73.72 %

20

English (US)

25179

43520

72.84 %

21

Machine Learning

4340

7452

71.71 %

22

Adobe Illustrator

6202

10590

70.75 %

23

Django

2710

4560

68.27 %

24

Search Engine Marketing

5672

9413

65.96 %

25

Adobe InDesign

6515

10752

65.03 %

26

Press Releases

2449

1145

-53.25 %

27

Cocoa

1239

574

-53.67 %

28

Nutrition

1030

468

-54.56 %

29

Psychology

1935

859

-55.61 %

30

Plugin

3330

1449

-56.49 %

31

Materials Engineering

1546

654

-57.70 %

32

Pattern Making

1256

526

-58.12 %

33

Label Design

2925

1195

-59.15 %

34

Weddings

1195

488

-59.16 %

35

Motion Graphics

4924

1991

-59.57 %

36

Manufacturing

4486

1808

-59.70 %

37

Industrial Design

3141

1256

-60.01 %

38

Logistics

1442

562

-61.03 %

39

Order Processing

2263

832

-63.23 %

40

Shopping Carts

16899

5845

-65.41 %

41

App Developer

17898

6070

-66.09 %

42

Payroll

3498

1134

-67.58 %

43

Pickup

2228

681

-69.43 %

44

CATIA

1010

306

-69.70 %

45

App Designer

8634

2531

-70.69 %

46

Software Development

31449

9212

-70.71 %

47

Journalist

1580

427

-72.97 %

48

Squarespace

1781

440

-75.29 %

49

Email Developer

4262

840

-80.29 %

50

LESS/Sass/SCSS

2697

514

-80.94 %


Quarterly snapshot: the fastest movers in Q4

The full Freelancer.com Fast 50 Q4 2018 Report ranking can be found below:

Freelancer.com’s Fast 50 Report: The 50 Fastest Moving Jobs in Q4 2018


Rank

Job Category

2018 Q3

2018 Q4

Change (%)

1

Matlab and Mathematica

2261

3049

34.85 %

2

Statistical Analysis

1203

1616

34.33 %

3

Mathematics

2006

2630

31.11 %

4

Algorithm

2224

2902

30.49 %

5

Statistics

1695

2210

30.38 %

6

Report Writing

5245

6777

29.21 %

7

Academic Writing

1791

2246

25.40 %

8

Electrical Engineering

3002

3712

23.65 %

9

Machine Learning

1748

2087

19.39 %

10

Shopify Templates

1549

1839

18.72 %

11

Mechanical Engineering

1877

2175

15.88 %

12

Product Descriptions

1544

1784

15.54 %

13

Database Programming

1241

1428

15.07 %

14

eBooks

1570

1804

14.90 %

15

Data Mining

2501

2845

13.75 %

16

Poster Design

1023

1150

12.41 %

17

Electronics

2850

3198

12.21 %

18

Arduino

1329

1491

12.19 %

19

Research Writing

12647

14169

12.03 %

20

Microcontroller

1756

1964

11.85 %

21

Ubuntu

1058

1182

11.72 %

22

Database Administration

1147

1279

11.51 %

23

Shopify

3137

3465

10.46 %

24

Microsoft Office

1815

1997

10.03 %

25

Business Analysis

2611

2856

9.38 %

26

Graphic Design

126892

101544

-19.98 %

27

Arts & Crafts

1081

861

-20.35 %

28

Virtual Assistant

6028

4781

-20.69 %

29

Coding

1294

1025

-20.79 %

30

Sales

5319

4210

-20.85 %

31

Testing / QA

1096

850

-22.45 %

32

App Developer

1495

1155

-22.74 %

33

Joomla

1803

1378

-23.57 %

34

Programming

2188

1634

-25.32 %

35

Data Entry

27390

20443

-25.36 %

36

Data Processing

13517

9925

-26.57 %

37

Banner Design

10055

7351

-26.89 %

38

Excel

24039

17574

-26.89 %

39

Translation

15145

11005

-27.34 %

40

CSS3

1150

827

-28.09 %

41

Adobe Illustrator

2462

1756

-28.68 %

42

Visual Basic

3702

2608

-29.55 %

43

Legal

1815

1256

-30.80 %

44

Windows Desktop

2961

2039

-31.14 %

45

Writing

2212

1502

-32.10 %

46

Project Management

1846

1216

-34.13 %

47

Adobe Flash

1921

1250

-34.93 %

48

Design

2110

1328

-37.06 %

49

XML

2038

1110

-45.53 %

50

ASP

2156

722

-66.51 %


- Ends -


For more information, please contact:


Leon Spencer

Director of Communications

lspencer@freelancer.com


About ​Freelancer​ ®

Eleven-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and jobs posted. More9than 31 million registered users have posted over 15 million jobs and contests to date in over 1,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing.

Freelancer owns StartCon, Australia's largest startup conference, expo and entrepreneur community established in 2009, WarriorForum.com, the world’s largest Internet marketing community & marketplace, and Escrow.com, the world’s largest provider of secure online escrow and online transaction management for consumers and businesses on the Internet. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN.