While outsourcing work to the lowest bidder via freelance exchanges is often controversial, it can also be a useful way to supplement your income or establish yourself in a new career. An analysis of job listings on Freelancer.com over the past year suggests demand is steadily growing for HTML5, Android development and PHP skills.
Picture by Matthew Keefe
The numbers are particularly good for basic online skills, as the site explained in its announcement:
In 2011 we saw a tremendous rise across the key web technology areas; HTML was up 193% (to a whopping 72,571 new jobs), HTML5 was up 118% (to 4,121 jobs), Website Design up 94% (to a massive 83,931 new jobs), Shopping Carts up 68% (to 8,437 jobs), and PHP- the lingua franca of websites- rose 69% (to 104,597 new jobs) in 2011, and topped the Fast 50 in terms of absolute gains.
Conversely, demand for writing associated tasks was down, a trend Freelancer.com assigns in part to Google improving its search algorithms to eliminate low-quality sites filled with cheap content designed purely to attract search traffic.
You need to exercise a degree of caution when interpreting these kinds of numbers. "The universal decline in online jobs related to Microsoft products leads us to believe that the company’s days are numbered," the site argues. Given that the majority of Microsoft-related tasks still require access to a desktop or server installation, it's not altogether surprising that jobs relating to them appear in smaller numbers in an online exchange.