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Liz McMillan

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News Item

100 Hottest Skills in Today’s Online Labor Market

Report reveals optimistic IT hiring trends with growing need for tech contractors online

New Media Journal

While recent industry reports (GovInfoSecurity.com) indicate that technology job losses rose in the last quarter to five percent, Elance today reveals a more promising outlook showing that hiring tech contractors online is growing, with overall hiring on Elance in October up 46% compared to a year ago. Elance, where companies hire, manage and pay contractors online, today released its October “Elance Work Index” ranking the hottest 100 skills in today’s online labor market. Trends include:

  • Technology Stays Hot – With PHP holding steady as the #1 skill in demand, tech skills continue to dominate, owning 11 of the Top 25 spots in the Index. Other hot IT movers include HTML up two rungs to #4, Joomla! rising 15 spots to #6, and Java advancing 36 slots to #24. Proof that the holiday shopping season has begun, osCommerce (an open-source ecommerce technology) shot up 80 spots, with PayPal rising 24 places into the Top 50.
  • Calling All Marketers – Businesses that thrive in changing economic times have one thing in common: they’re willing to adapt their marketing to fit new environments. On Elance, the need for marketing skills place Graphic Design (#5) and Illustrator (#8) in the Top 10 with Social Media Marketing thriving at #14. The thirst for customers is shown by Search Engine Optimization at #15 and Direct Marketing up 22 spots to #22, while Email Marketing, Google AdWords, Telemarketing and Search Engine Marketing all make strong gains.
  • Writers At The Ready – Businesses have a lot to say this Fall and are turning to Elance experts to get the word out. From creative writing to proofreading, talent with words that sell is in high demand. Content Writing moves up 6 spots to #2 with Article Writing close behind at #3; Copywriting and Creative Writing move up to the #12 and #13 spots, respectively, while Academic Writing and Technical Writing both jump more than 30 spots on the chart.

The growth of online work is fueled by companies and agencies discovering a New Way to Work (#new_way_to_work). Facing tight budgets and growing workloads, more marketing, IT and operations managers now hire, manage and pay contractors online as their preferred alternative to traditional staffing. Hiring on Elance is up significantly, with awarded jobs up 46% in October compared to the same period a year ago. More than 64,000 businesses are currently active on Elance, posting 300,000 new jobs annually.

Elance Work Index - October 2009




1 PHP --
2 Content Writing +7
3 Article Writing +1
4 HTML +2
5 Graphic Design -3
6 Joomla! +15
7 CSS --
8 Illustrator +8
9 WordPress +1
10 Web Content +4
11 MySQL -6
12 Copywriting +7
13 Creative Writing +4
14 Social Media Marketing +1
15 SEO +3
16 AJAX +6
17 Data Entry +11
18 Academic Writing +34
19 Photoshop -7
20 Adobe Flash -17
21 Logo Design -8
22 Direct Marketing +22
23 Admin Assistant +8
24 Java +36
25 JavaScript -14

Derived from data from more than 100,000 jobs posted on Elance in recent months, the “Elance Work Index” is the Web’s leading indicator on contract hiring trends.

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