oDesk, the leading marketplace for online workteams, has compiled and analyzed data from over 100,000 freelance jobs posted in 2008. The findings, which show the most critical skills to stay employed, are summarized in the three reports below.
Web Developer Skills in Most Demand
PHP programmers were by far the most in-demand web professionals in the oDesk marketplace in 2008. Other hot programming skills that employers are looking for include Ajax, MySQL, CSS, and Graphic Design.
Fastest Growing Skills by Demand Growth
Wordpress developers (+427%) and SEO consultants (+242%) enjoyed the greatest increase in demand for their particular skills, reflecting small businesses' ongoing need to have a strong web presence. Growth in writing and Excel reflects the increasing number of jobs oDesk buyers are outsourcing as well as oDesk's expansion into these categories.
Jobs with the Least Competition
Freelance professionals can also improve their chances of finding jobs by focusing on skills with the least competition. oDesk's findings show that Database Modeling, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), Facebook, and Drupal represent some of the best opportunities for freelancers because demand for these skills far outweighs the number of available contractors.
"In these difficult economic times, it's harder to earn a living which makes it even more important for freelancers to focus on the skills that are most in demand," said oDesk CEO Gary Swart. "oDesk will continue to publish useful data to help freelance professionals stay informed about the skills that are most in demand."