Improving your career as a freelancer can often involve picking up highly sought-after tech skills. The number of freelancers is on the rise, both in the United States, where they’re predicted to constitute over half of the workforce by 2027, and around the world. This growing interest in going solo has caused a surge in demand for freelancers who possess specialized skills. Since an increasing number of businesses are hiring remote and freelance workers, competition in the market is getting fiercer every day. To stay ahead, it’s a good idea to expand your skillset and offer a distinctive set of abilities that make you shine in your field. A great way to elevate your freelancing career is to learn some of the most in-demand tech skills.
Web Design & Development
At its core, web design involves creating and managing websites for clients. This encompasses the site’s overall appearance, performance tweaks, visual compatibility, and fine-tuning for both desktop and mobile versions. Beyond design, web development focuses on the technical aspects and features of a website, with front-end and back-end development ensuring the site functions smoothly, while designers prioritize aesthetics. The web and digital design industry is predicted to grow by over 26% in the next decade, making it one of the most sought-after fields with consistent growth. It’s a top tech skill that can help you broaden your expertise and enhance your portfolio. If you’re aspiring to become a successful freelance web developer, check TechTerraTales. The blog offers valuable advice on how to thrive as a tech professional and build a financially stable career.
While there’s no set list of qualifications for becoming a web designer or developer, certain skills are essential, including:
- Basic design principles
- Proficiency in design tools like Photoshop and Illustrator
- UX & UI design
- Content management
- Online sales and product tools
- Graphic design
A graphic designer utilizes technology to craft artwork for clients, which can include anything from logos and website graphics to actual advertisements and billboards. The primary aim is to apply foundational design principles to produce visually appealing content that appeals to a wide audience. Popular tools for creating these illustrations are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, but there are many other options available as well. While knowing how to draw is not a prerequisite, it’s certainly advantageous. An understanding of design concepts, staying current with marketing trends, and having a good eye for aesthetics can all contribute significantly to your success. Even though a formal degree isn’t strictly necessary, most job postings do ask for at least a bachelor’s degree and/or relevant certifications, especially for higher-level positions. This is something you should definitely consider when deciding if this tech skill is the right path for you.
Information Technology (IT)
Information technology professionals are responsible for installing, building, and maintaining programs within a company. They handle everything from troubleshooting an individual’s computer to setting up servers and are crucial for keeping company-wide operations running smoothly. While not every company employs a full-time IT manager, many hire freelance IT experts for quick fixes, consultations, or contractual work. Having IT skills can lead to freelance opportunities with significant clients and large companies. If you’re looking to enter the IT field, you likely already have above-average tech knowledge.
Content/Product Management Systems
Content management systems (CMS) are user-friendly tools designed to help you manage the content on your webpage without needing advanced technical skills. Once you become proficient with your chosen CMS, you can build a secure and visually appealing website. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is sufficient for most customizations. WordPress is the most widely used and comprehensive CMS available, but there are other options like Joomla, Wix, and Squarespace. You can find numerous free online tutorials to help you master these tools. The most effective way to learn is by creating your own website and experimenting with its settings and extensions. Similarly, product management tools are essential if your website will feature an online store. They help you organize your product listings.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a crucial skill for anyone looking to boost their online presence. Mastering SEO means you can identify trends, understand what appeals to users, and optimize your content to rank higher in search engine results, ultimately reaching more people. Key skills for working in SEO include:
- Content writing and copywriting
- Content marketing
- Content management
- Keyword research tools
- Google Analytics & Google Search Console
Data analysts are experts at interpreting and presenting data in a meaningful way. The demand for freelance data analytics roles is steadily increasing, making it a highly sought-after skill in the current business environment. Some essential tech skills for this field include:
- Statistics and Big Data
- Data management
- Statistical programming languages like R and Python
- Machine learning
If you’re considering data analytics as a career path, Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate is a great place to start. It covers all the basics and is highly regarded in the industry. We suggest beginning with that and learning at your own pace.
App development focuses on creating applications for specific operating systems, like iOS or Android. First, decide which device(s) you want to create apps for and get familiar with their operating system. The technology skills needed to develop the apps include:
- Product management
- UI/UX design and basic design principles
- Cross-platform app development skills
- Backend computing skills (security, databases, hardware, etc.)
- Business analytics
- Software analysis and QA testing
In conclusion, the demand for freelancers with specialized tech skills is growing rapidly as more businesses embrace remote and freelance work. To stay competitive in this evolving market, it’s essential to broaden your skillset and offer unique abilities that set you apart. Whether it’s web design and development, graphic design, content or product management systems, search engine optimization (SEO), data analytics, app development, or information technology (IT), each of these areas presents opportunities for freelancers to grow their careers and cater to the increasing demand. By investing time and effort into learning and mastering these in-demand tech skills, you can enhance your portfolio and open up new possibilities for your freelancing journey.