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Upwork debuts The Upwork 100, ranking the top 100 in-demand skills for independent professionals

The top 100 skills created nearly 170,000 work engagements on Upwork.com in Q3 2019

The average hourly rate for the top 100 for U.S. freelancers is more per hour than 88 percent of U.S. workers overall

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - November 19, 2019 - Upwork, the leading online talent solution, today debuted the first list in a new quarterly series of the hottest skills in today’s U.S. freelance job market. The Upwork 100 ranks the top 100 skills and sheds light on skills that are both quickly growing and also experiencing a high level of demand, providing an indication of current trends in the independent labor market and tech industry. It also serves as a barometer of the skills businesses are seeking and that independent professionals are providing by balancing real-time insights with consistent patterns based on real work that’s been completed. Its methodology was developed by Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, PhD, and includes his commentary and analysis.

The top 100 skills on Upwork.com in Q3 2019 experienced more than 45 percent year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 percent skills grew more than 260 percent year-over-year. See the full list below.

Top 3 Trends from Dr. Ozimek

Trend #1: U.S. workers are supercharging global business

  • In addition to the many U.S. companies that are hiring U.S. freelancers, 38 percent of the jobs for the Top 100 skills are being hired for by non-U.S. companies
  • The top 10 countries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) United States 2) Canada 3) United Kingdom 4) Australia 5) India 6) Israel 7) Germany 8) Singapore 9) United Arab Emirates and 10) China.
  • “Digital platforms not only provide businesses with access to a global pool of proven talent but also provide independent professionals with the opportunity to export their skilled services to companies around the world -- including in both developed and developing countries. Too often, discussions about global trade focus only on goods; but the U.S. exports a lot of skilled services as well, and there is high demand for U.S. skilled services professionals, and Upwork helps them connect.”

Trend #2: The average hourly rate is higher than the majority of workers in the overall U.S. economy

  • The average hourly rate for the Top 100 skills in Q3 is $43.72, which is:
  • Higher than the median hourly rate for freelancers doing skilled services overall ($28)
  • More per hour than 88 percent of workers in the overall U.S. economy1
  • “Given the highly skilled and in-demand nature of the Top 100, the high rates earned are not surprising. Yet compared to traditional staffing agencies, businesses find online talent solutions to be more cost-effective, easier to use and faster.”

Trend #3: A diverse range of industries in the Fortune 500 leverage independent talent

  • Access to skills and talent scarcity are the biggest hiring challenges; and by 2028, it’s projected that 73 percent of all teams will have remote workers, according to a report
  • The top 10 industries hiring U.S. freelancers for the Top 100 skills are 1) Consulting 2) Internet Software & Services 3) Internet 4) Consumer Discretionary 5) Health Care 6) Consumer Staples 7) Publishing 8) Education 9) Advertising and 10) Specialized Consumer Services
  • “This data shows that a diverse range of industries are leveraging independent professionals to access the skills they need, when they need them. More than 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork today, and we expect that number to increase.”

The Upwork 100: Q3 2019

  1. .NET Core
  2. TypeScript
  3. Landing pages
  4. eBooks
  5. Android
  6. Electronic design
  7. Presentation
  8. Sketch
  9. Research
  10. Technical recruiter
  11. Bank reconciliation
  12. Slack
  13. Google Tag Manager
  14. Sourcing
  15. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  16. Video post-editing
  17. LinkedIn recruiting
  18. Data visualization
  19. Interviewing
  20. Interior design
  21. System administration
  22. Kubernetes
  23. Data scraping
  24. Technical documentation
  25. Project scheduling
  26. Adobe Premiere Pro
  27. 2D animation
  28. Firebase
  29. Customer retention marketing
  30. Salesforce Lightning
  31. DevOps
  32. Selenium
  33. Accounts receivable management
  34. Microsoft Windows Azure
  35. Database design
  36. AutoCAD
  37. Usability testing
  38. C development
  39. Accounts payable management
  40. Lead generation
  41. Product descriptions
  42. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  43. Circuit design
  44. eLearning
  45. Google Docs
  46. Docker
  47. GitHub
  48. Redux for JavaScript
  49. Business planning
  50. Data entry
  51. Motion graphics
  52. Infographics
  53. Architecture
  54. ASP.NET
  55. Asana
  56. Instagram marketing
  57. Shopify development
  58. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  59. Architectural rendering
  60. PostgreSQL administration
  61. Salesforce app development
  62. Python
  63. Magento 2
  64. Link building
  65. MongoDB
  66. Bootstrap
  67. SEO writing
  68. Web scraping
  69. Animation
  70. Network security
  71. 3D rendering
  72. Agile project management
  73. Administrative support
  74. Data mining
  75. Internet research
  76. English grammar
  77. Squarespace
  78. Elasticsearch
  79. Startup consulting
  80. AWS Lambda
  81. Branding
  82. Media relations
  83. Appointment setting
  84. 3D design
  85. Bookkeeping
  86. Romance writing
  87. Budgeting and forecasting
  88. Product design
  89. Financial accounting
  90. Adobe After Effects
  91. Zendesk
  92. Accounting
  93. Virtual assistant
  94. Google Cloud Platform
  95. Postgre SQL programming
  96. Tax preparation
  97. Embedded systems
  98. Audio editing
  99. Google Analytics
  100. Amazon S3

The Upwork 100 Methodology

The goal of the Upwork 100 is to highlight the fastest-growing skills that also have a consistent and substantial level of demand. To do this, using data sourced from the Upwork.com database, we first limit the analysis to skills that are the most in-demand by including only skills that have been in the top 500 on Upwork.com in terms of freelancer billings for the past four complete quarters. Within that, we then rank the top 100 fastest-growing skills based on year-over-year growth rates in freelancer billings for Q3 2019 versus Q3 2018.

The next Upwork 100 report will be released winter 2020.

1Economic Policy Institute. 2019. Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 0.6.13.

About Upwork

Upwork is the leading online talent solution transforming professional staffing. We empower businesses with more flexible access to quality talent, on demand. Through Upwork’s matching technology and services, companies have access to a global pool of proven professionals so they can scale their teams dynamically to meet business needs. Upwork also provides skilled professionals access to more opportunities.

Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. The community of independent professionals working via Upwork spans many categories including software development, creative & design, finance & accounting, consulting, operations and customer support—over 8,000 skills are represented.

More than thirty percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork. Clients include Airbnb, Automattic, GE, and Microsoft.

Upwork is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Oslo, Norway as well as team members in more than 800 cities worldwide. For more information, visit Upwork’s website at www.upwork.com, join us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Christina Schultz