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In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, keeping up with the Joneses can feel like a full-time job. New platforms emerge daily, and along with their immediate adoption and overnight indispensability come a host of associated skill-sets and required continuing ed.
Because we’re only human, Upwork has compiled its Skills Index, featuring the top 20 most in-demand freelancer skills, from Instagram marketing and brand strategy to Bluetooth. With 65 percent of the list in the technical sphere, we’ve teased out and explained the highlights below.
The top two spots in the skills hotness chart are two sides of the same linguistic coin. Natural Language Processing, the technology enabling the interaction of spoken human language with computers, is behind the rise of virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, and ranks as the most sought-after skill.
As we dutifully push modern home life ever closer to its Jetsons-esque destiny, the need for folks who can usher NLP through its awkward, occasionally defiant, and often racy growing pains is on a steep upward curve.
The second-highest demand increase is in Swift, the preferred Apple language powering most apps. With 90 percent of time spent in-app versus in mobile web, Swift becomes a non-negotiable among technical skills. To put it in perspective using economic terms, in-app shopping is the preferred method for one in three millennials, and mobile influences a staggering $1 trillion in in-store sales.
With cloud-based solutions becoming the norm, the colossal Amazon Web Services (AWS) owns 40 percent of the cloud. Its Simple Storage Service known as S3 hosts more than 3 trillion pieces of data for nearly 150,000 internet-based services like Netflix, Dropbox, Slack, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
AWS ranks fourth on the Upwork in-demand skills index, followed by Stripe, an online payment technology powered, unsurprisingly, by AWS.
If AWS and S3 sound familiar, it may be that you saw them lambasted on Twitter on Feb. 28 while you were unable to load your favorite websites, your mobile boarding pass, or buy anything online during a widespread AWS outage. To contextualize the scale of AWS and why you should acquaint yourself with it, the five-hour outage caused north of $300 million in lost revenue between e-tailers, m-tailers, and financial services companies.
Rounding out the top five in third place is Tableau, a business intelligence, data visualization, and analytics service running in large part on AWS. Literacy with Tableau will build your resume, but consider also leveraging it to make data-driven decisions for your own business.
In the spirit of advancing the freelance sister- and brotherhood, we’ve listed our own top five soft skills below:
What skills are you working on to up your game? Drop us a note in the comments below.
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