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10 top freelance jobs in demand: video, mobile app development, accounting

10 top freelance jobs in demand: video, mobile app development, accounting

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Many freelance, contract and entrepreneurial engagements red hot and in demand. However, rates are not keeping pace or sliding. Why the disconnect?

Freelance, contract and entrepreneurial jobs involving mobile, social and Web are red hot and in demand. However, rates are not keeping pace or sliding.

These are the latest findings collected by DoNanza, based on data sourced from more than 4 million job listings worth $2 billion, comparing 2010 and the present day. While demand for workers with skills in areas such as video and translation is rising, the remuneration on offer is on the slide, the consultancy says.

Demand for translation roles has increased by 30% since 2010, but the rewards on offer per job have decreased by 31% over the same period. Similarly, while job requests requiring skills in video have risen by a staggering 328% since 2010, rewards have decreased by 33%.

However, those with C/C++ programming skills face a different problem. While the rewards on offer for these projects have increased by 79% since 2010, there has been a 26% drop in the number of these jobs being advertised. Virtual Assistant-type jobs requiring Excel skills have seen rewards increase by 68.34%, but there are now 25.09% fewer of these jobs available compared to two years ago.

Below are the 10 top freelance or contract positions, with the first 5 based on the rise in number of jobs, and the second 5 based on compensation increases over the past year. Findings for the entire list of 73 identified freelance or contract positions are posted below.

Top Skills by Increase in Number of Jobs:

  1. Video                       +328.43%
  2. HTML5                     +209.85%
  3. Accounting               +103.51%
  4. iPad development     +101.3%
  5. Graphic design         +49.44%

Top Skills by Increase in Rates:

  1. C/C++                      +79.47%
  2. Virtual Assistant       +68.34%
  3. C#                            +62.78%
  4. Photoshop                +53.62%
  5. Marketing strategy    +49.77%

“Between 2011 and 2012 there was an increase in the number of jobs in nearly every area but the rewards went down across the board for social media marketing, design, advertising, virtual assistants and software development,” says Liran Kotzer, CEO and co-founder of DoNanza.

Why the discrepancy?  Shouldn't rising demand for a skill translate into increased compensation? DoNanza explains that things are simply getting more competitive -- there is a growing pool of available freelance and contract talent.

The dynamic not mentioned by DoNanza is the impact of the recent economy. Unemployment continues to run high, and underemployment even higher. There are many talented and well-educated professionals who are frustrated by the lack of opportunities with full-time employment, and are turning to contract, freelance, and entrepreneurial engagements. The pool of talent is growing, which is good news for organizations using the services, but means individual contractors need to keep sharpening their marketing skills.

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Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure