Two interesting surveys came across my desk this week, and the combination is likely to be of interest to many of my readers. One of these surveys, conducted at Glassdoor, describes the best paying entry level jobs for new graduates in 2019. The other report, from Upwork, the online talent marketplace, is based on new Upwork data describing the specific skills that are most in demand from Upwork’s U.S. freelancers, and freelancers who are remotely doing much of their work in the U.S.
Why review these surveys, and why in combination? Here’s my thinking. If you are a new or new-ish grads, you may be wondering whether a freelance career is an attractive alternative for your immediate future, or trying to decide whether full-time employment is at least your immediate course of action, the combination of these data are for you. In either case, it’s useful to stay in touch with market trends.
And, if you are still in university wondering in what areas to specialize, these data are a useful though incremental source of insight.
By the way, whether your interest in freelancing is immediate or eventual, you might want to read this article on making the transition to a freelance career.
What they found
- The highest paying entry level job is data scientist, which has a median base salary of $95,000. As more companies across various industries continue to invest in technology and collect mass amounts of data at scale, data scientists play an increasingly vital role in organizing and analyzing data to produce valuable insights that can inform key business decisions.
- Software engineer and product manager, also tech roles, are the second and third highest paying entry level jobs, paying $90,000 and $89,000 respectively.
- In fact, apart from I bank analyst and physical therapist, the highest paying entry level jobs are tech roles, demonstrating how employers are in need of talented tech talent and are willing to pay high salaries for individuals ready to develop their careers in these fields. We see several different types of engineers making high entry level salaries, likely due to the specialized education and extensive skills training required to succeed in these roles.
25 Highest Paying Entry Level Jobs in the U.S. for 2019
|Rank||Job Title||Median Base Salary|
|4||Investment Banking Analyst||$85,000|
|12||Front End Developer||$67,500|
Upwork also released a quarterly review of their Skills Index which ranks the top 20 fastest-growing skills in the U.S. freelance job market, based on data from their platform.
What they found
- Upwork points out three key factors driving the results of their survey: time of year (e.g., tax expertise), tight labor markets and a rapid fire introduction of new technologies or new applications of critical technologies like data science:
- The overall findings were characterized this way: “Labor markets overall are tightening, and for many skills, employers are increasingly struggling to find available workers in their local areas. As a result, the array of skills that employers are finding through digital platforms is growing, including technical skills like Hadoop and Kubernetes as well as non-technical skills such as taxation and urban planning.î
- Importantly, the survey points out that the 20 fastest-growing freelance skills in Q1 2019 experienced more than 170 percent year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 skills grew more than 370 percent year-over-year. More evidence that the freelance revolution is large and growing and continuing to evolve.
The top 20 fastest-growing skills, Q1 2019:
- Robotic process automation
- Explainer videos
- Computer aided manufacturing
- Financial planning
- Urban design
- Software documentation
- Salesforce commercial cloud
- Julia development
- Employee training
- Shopify templates
- js framework
- Leadership development
- Architectural rendering
Here are selected comments from the report on why these 20 skills led the way.
- U.S. tax reform spurs growth in financial skills. Tax season in the U.S. and the 2018 tax reform bill led U.S. taxation (#1) to be the quarter’s fastest-growing skill. Tax season also spurred demand for†Certified Public Accountants (#16)†and†financial planning (#6)†specialists.
- Automation. Robotic process automation (RPA) (#3) a spot on the index for the first time. Startups like Automation Anywhere are providing solutions to large companies to help automate tasks and processes traditionally done manually. Forrester estimates that the market will grow to $2.9 billion in 2021 (from $250 million in 2016).
- City infrastructure. As remote work adoption increases and more people live and work where they choose, city infrastructure is also changing. Urban design (#7) specialists are helping keep up with this evolution by arranging and designing public spaces, transportation systems and amenities for residents, tenants and visitors. Geospatial (#10) technologies, which map and analyze the Earth’s surface, and Architectural renderings (#19) also saw significant growth as the public and private sector alike look for ways to optimize current and future space.
- eCommerce tools. Global eCommerce sales will reach $4.8 trillion by 2021, and 2.1 billion shoppers will buy goods and services online. Experts were highly sought-after last quarter to help companies deliver personalized customer experiences across mobile, digital and social platforms, and companies look to build new online storefronts to increase online revenue. Shopify templates (#15), leveraged to help storefronts deliver a unified experience, also appeared on this quarterís list for the first time.
- Employee learning and development. Businesses are investing more dollars in developing workers, and employee training (#14) saw high demand as a result. Development extends beyond technical skills and into soft skills such as leadership development (#18), which also appeared on this quarterís list. Companies are turning to freelance specialists to create an overall strategy to ensure their workforce is prepared for tomorrow.
- Connecting with customers. Marketers are taking it back to the basics and investing in freelance specialists who can create explainer videos (#4) that help customers better understand complex products or services. Podcasting (#20) has also become a popular way to meet customers where they are; they’re easy to consume and help businesses connect directly to listeners, regardless of location.
Read More: Forbes