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most in demand freelance skills

The Future of Freelancing & Which Areas of Expertise Will Be in Most Demand in 2021

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
March 12, 2021

Today, freelancing is no longer seen as just a side gig or a way of earning supplemental income while employed full-time. In fact, in the U.S. alone, over 57 million workers are freelancing and as seen in our latest report, Freelancing in 2020, the current global pandemic has caused the gig-economy in both developed and emerging markets to skyrocket.

As demand for freelancing continues to rise, especially in today’s new norm of remote work, which hard and soft skills will we be seeing in 2021?

In our latest video series, ‘The Freelancer Lounge’, Jon Younger, author of the Forbes blog, Freelance Revolution, shares insights into which soft and hard skills will be in demand this year and how you can prepare for what lies ahead.

Watch the full episode below!

More and more freelancers are becoming extremely optimistic about the future of the gig-economy and many are attracted to the long-term benefits such as the flexibility to work from just about anywhere and the lucrative income you can earn. In addition, more and more freelance marketplaces are developing offering opportunities for professionals to easily seek work.

Here we’ll discuss which specializations will be in high demand as well as the soft skills needed to boost your freelancing career.

The Most In-Demand Hard Skills

1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is slowly becoming more mainstream and sooner or later, you’ll find that it will be replacing customer support work that’s done by freelancers as well as customer success. In fact, a recent survey found that 70% of large organizations require workers to have both automation and AI skills.

2. Web-app Development

One of the main reasons we recently saw a rise in web app development was due to the global pandemic. As businesses worldwide were forced to shut down their physical stores so suddenly, many shifted to operating their business solely online. With so many businesses currently selling their products online and will continue to do so in the future, freelancers should take advantage of this area and learn how to build and develop a professional site.

3. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is another technical/hard skill that many companies are seeking workers for.

Having cloud technology expertise has quickly become very essential for larger organizations so if you’re thinking of growing your skill set, then this is one that many are looking for.

4. Software Development

Software development skills have been on the list for the most in-demand tech skills for quite some time now. In fact, demand is growing faster than across most areas of IT due to the increasing number of apps on the market.

The Most In-Demand Soft Skills

To continue thriving as a freelancer, it’s important that you future-proof not only your technical skills but also your soft skills. Remember, we gain more work with our hard skills, but we could easily lose opportunities and relationships if we have a lack of some basic soft skills. Below are the most critical soft skills to own.

  1. Project management
  2. Good communication skills
  3. Time management
  4. Emotional intelligence
  5. Collaboration
  6. Problem solving

Future-Proof Your Skills & Set Yourself Up for Success

With so many new skills rising in demand, make sure you know where your expertise stands and consider learning new skills in order to stay up-to-date with today’s competitive freelance market. Ask yourself, are the skills you currently own growing or shrinking? In addition, remember to focus on multiple practices and not just on one area.

If you’re a freelancer and need an easy and secure way to get paid by global clients, Payoneer’s payments solution can help. With Payoneer, you can get paid by leading freelance marketplaces and clients around the world with ease, so you can focus on growing your business.

Receive your freelance payments with Payoneer

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