Data science is the fastest growing category, and machine learning tops the list of fastest growing skills for freelance workers, according to a new study by Upwork.

In its new report, The Upwork Skills Index, Upwork identifies the top 20 skills desired in the freelance market. The index is part of a quarterly series that Upwork, the largest freelancing website, publishes. The index calculates growth rates based on freelancer billings through Upwork in the third quarter 2016 versus the third quarter 2015.

“The freelance workfore is the best indicator of new skill trends,” noted Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel. “Businesses are turning to freelancers to complete projects requiring skills that aren’t available locally. Freelancers on Upwork know they are responsible for their own career progression and act on this by getting trained and test on emerging skills earlier than the traditional workforce.”

IT and development skills account for more than half (55 percent) of the top 20 fastest growing skills, putting developers in high demand. But it is in data science that demand is really taking off.

According to the Upwork report, “As advanced algorithms become more complex, their capacity to predict, model and analyze data has turned into a subfield in its own right. Companies are harvesting explosive amounts of data, and the demand for machine learning specialists who can build adaptive algorithms and extract value of this new data is increasing in turn.”

All 20 skills on the latest index experienced growth rates of more than 100 percent year-over-year. They are, in order:

  • Machine learning
  • Tableau
  • User experience design
  • C++ programming
  • MySQL programming
  • Pardot
  • Social media management
  • Project management professional (PMP)
  • Swift development
  • Chat support
  • Android development
  • Unity 3D
  • Shopify development
  • Video editing
  • AutoCAD
  • Facebook marketing
  • API development
  • Content writing
  • .NET framework
  • WordPress development

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access