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Will your future job will be doing online contingent work?

Wondering where all the future jobs are going to be? Online of course! But maybe not exactly in the format you were expecting.

Despite a stagnant employment market in 2011, online hiring has grown at a record pace, up more than 100% from 2010. Elance, the leading platform for online work, released its 2011 Online Employment Review today, which reveals that the future of work will be contingent, global and online. As more companies seek instant access to talent and greater flexibility to run their businesses, individuals are taking control of their future by building careers as independent professionals…

From the Elance blog:



While global economies continue to struggle with job creation, online work thrived this year with 650,000 new jobs posted, and cumulative earnings set to surpass $500 million. The number of businesses hiring on Elance and the number of online professionals working on Elance grew more than 120%. Earnings for online professionals rose in more than 100 countries around the world. In the US, earnings rose in 43 out of 50 states, including some of the hardest hit regions in unemployment such as Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina. For the full 2011 Online Employment Review, click here.

2011 Reflections: Online Hiring
Businesses are developing innovative workforce models that blend full-time and part-time, local and remote, employed and contracted workers. The practice of hiring and managing talent online is spreading and 83% of small businesses surveyed by Elance plan to hire up to 50% of their workers as online contractors online in the next 12 months.

More people are pursuing independent careers and using online platforms like Elance to reinvent their careers. The 2011 Elance survey of online freelance professionals indicated that nearly 1 in 3 workers began freelancing to be their own boss and to work on the type of projects they love. The top benefits of online work cited include the ability to control their own schedule (90%), follow their passion (87%) and eliminate the commute (85%).

2011 Reflections: Hot Skills in Demand
The number of businesses seeking to hire online workers doubled in 2011. An analysis of the more than 650,000 jobs posted on Elance this year highlights skills in demand online:


  • Software development skills such as HTML5 (+238%), Mobile (+137%), WordPress (+100%), Facebook (+66%) and Twitter (+47%)
  • Creative skills like Graphic Design (+176%) and Content Writing (+72%)
  • Marketing skills such as Internet Marketing (+132%), Marketing Communications (+53%) and Telemarketing (52%)
  • Administrative skills, including Transcription (+114%), Administrative Support (+87%) and Data Entry (+69%)
  • Consulting skills ranging from Product Manufacturing (+186%), Architectural Design (+185%), Financial Analysis (+140%), and Legal (+86%) to Business Strategy (+76%)

Looking Forward: Predictions for 2012
In 2012, the market for online contingent work is set to double as more businesses across the globe hire and manage workers online for the first time. Below are four trends that will shape the world of work in 2012: 

The rise of the global, virtual workplace. Companies will increasingly tap into the online workforce across geographic boundaries to support key business initiatives. More professionals will build independent careers by working with multiple clients all over the world. Online contractors will collaborate with each other remotely, across geographies and time zones. Technological advancements enabling better online collaboration, telepresence, skills assessment and identity verification, will make significant contributions to the new virtual workplace.

Professional services become America’s next great export. The global demand for US talent has increased steadily over the past year and is set to grow even faster as online platforms like Elance break down global barriers and open up opportunities for collaboration. In 2011, US-based contractors exported their services to more than 140 countries, and global hiring of US professionals saw a significant increase in more than 60 countries.

Increased adoption of the contingent workforce elevates the importance of compliance. To tap the power of a flexible workforce, companies around the world will turn to platforms like Elance to facilitate compliance with their internal controls and with evolving government regulations.

Promising online careers for 2012. Online hiring for specialized skills will continue to expand in 2012. Promising online careers for 2012 include:


  • Software Developer
  • Visual Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Digital Marketer
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Content Moderator
  • Accountant
  • Distributed Workforce Manager

Please visit the full 2011 Online Employment Review here.

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