The future of work is evolving. Across industries, technology remains a huge disruptor like it or not. Change in the workplace isn't only coming, it is already here, and you also want to make sure that you're together with the skills that are forming the tasks marketplace and are impacting your ability to stay relevant in your field.
A recent analysis by Upwork, an online marketplace for freelancers, identified a few of fastest growing skills that are shaping the freelancer market. A sharp spike in interest surrounding technologies, especially about cybersecurity, blockchain, and artificial intelligence inform what have been the ten fastest-growing abilities:
Blockchain robotics and Bitcoin are all currently making first looks. The freelancer marketplace, according to online freelance platform Upwork's senior vice-president, Rich Pearson, functions as a sign for workplace trends on a far larger scale for the next several years. "it is a window to how companies are embracing new technologies," he tells Entrepreneur. "The fact that robotics, blockchain, and bitcoin associated skills are among the list suggests that many companies are unable to discover these skills locally and are turning to freelance specialists to allow them to provide new products to market."
Cryptocurrency and blockchain are becoming mainstream.
Even though cryptocurrency is due to its character intangible, the frenzy and hype round it's prompted venture capitalists to invest a fair amount of cold, hard cash into companies that are focusing on the evolution and integration of Blockchain, a distributed ledger platform (DTL) that verifies and documents transactions, such as with Bitcoin.
Based on CB Insights, a firm that predicts technology trends, since 2012, there have been over 650 equity deals made with blockchain companies, investments totaling over $2.1 billion. In October 2017, 95 VCs be the year's conclusion and had a minimum of one blockchain investment, that number is expected to reach 120.
"[Bitcoin payment] approval by retailers is still comparatively low. But important companies, such as Overstock, Dish Network, Microsoft, Intuit, and PayPal have all integrated Bitcoin payments into their solutions," says Pearson, who notes that the adoption of the technology by these stalwarts leads the way for a bigger trend throughout the retail sector. "A lot of times when [retailers] do prototyping or feasibility [testing], they will hire freelancers to see how it would operate."
Bitcoin has certainly captured notoriety and public fascination, and while one Bitcoin is now equivalent to $7,759.98, it is the Blockchain technology that's being hailed as a game changer in how we do matters. Many companies are still on how to best use and incorporate distributed ledger technology in the testing and experimentation stage.
What's evident is that like with any fast-growing technology, the skills associated with construction, maintaining and working with those systems are in short shrift, so owning these skills will lead to more opportunities for work across some businesses, full-time or freelancer. The Financial Times reports that blockchain associated ads have shrunk on LinkedIn within the past year.
For companies on high alert, data safety is in high demand.
Cybersecurity is another valuable place. Security breaches, such as the ones that have happened to Yahoo and Equifax, are growing increasingly commonplace, and consumers are demanding companies do a better job.
Skills, such as penetration assessment, which comes in at number four of fasting skills on Upwork's list, is the way you test the vulnerability of the infrastructure of a system. The researchers noted that the U.S. State of Cybercrime 2017 survey, which found that 36 percent of businesses reported being impacted by a phishing attack in 2016, compared to 26 percent in 2015.
"The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the rate of growth for work in information security for 2014 to 2024 will be at 18 percent, which is the quickest of all jobs," notes Pearson. He clarified that the most frequent use instance that Upwork sees is when a company is testing out a particular cybersecurity issue that they know or suspect is occurring, and they can produce solutions and policy in a significantly faster pace by obtaining a market of salespeople, unhindered by the abilities' location.
Every company should be utilizing A.I.
The study also cited that international spending on robotics is projected to more than double from $91.5 billion in 2016 to more than $188 billion in 2020. This means the skills in demand is going to be associated with augmented reality and machine learning, thanks to A.I.'s broader adoption across sectors, particularly in the automobile market. These days, it's become standard for companies, from airlines to hotels to banks, to employ chatbots to offer 24/7 client service. According to UBS, the A.I. industry is forecast to rocket from a $5 billion in revenues in 2015 to more than twice the revenue at $12.5 billion in 2020.
Pearson noted that A.I. adoption is driving a requirement for freelancers who have a center with deep learning, natural language processing, and machine learning skills. In particular, he says that those three experienced more in in the year's next quarter. Skills like image processing systems and neural networks also have seen high growth. "A.I. [is] a way to look at different types of items and identify them fast, label them and then build a logic off of them," explains Pearson.
For anyone who would like to stay applicable being a freelancer having a learning mindset is crucial. The programming and coding skills being taught in universities now will probably be a couple of years out of date from today, so the technology-minded have been challenged to keep updating their skills. New ground is all breaking, but what technology does is force us to be nimble.