Elance Blog

May Elance Online Work Index: Cash Is King

The market does not lie. Let the record show that in May 2009, the Elance Online Work Index* confirms what all business people already know: Cash is indeed King.

This month’s Elance Online Work Index, a leading indicator on business hiring trends, highlights today’s most topical business imperatives of driving revenue, gaining IT efficiencies, cranking out great content, and diving into social media. Here’s what’s on the mind of business leaders all over:

  • “Show Me the Money.” Getting expert help to drive revenue is hotter than ever with demand for skills in Sales (#11) rising 10 spots, Marketing Strategy (#19) up 12 places, Internet Marketing (#23) up four and demand for PayPal (#24) skills moving up five rungs.

  • "How’s My LAMP Stack?” For three months running, PHP (#1) and MySQL (#2) continue to dominate the list as the most sought after skills in the market with no signs of being dethroned. Businesses continue to look to online experts to save cash by hiring IT expertise in open source (Linux, Ruby on Rails, Joomla, WordPress, osCommerce) and other leading technologies (AJAX, Javascript, ASP.NET, XML).

  • “Get Me Some Killer Content.” Demonstrating thought leadership (and having loads of search engine friendly content to attract customers) requires a steady stream of compelling and well-written articles, white-papers and sales and marketing copy. Companies are desperately seeking help with Article Writing (#3), Online Writing (#5 – up 12 places!) and Web Content (#10) all in the Top 10. Additionally, Copywriting moved up five spots to #28 and Creative Writing elevated nine spots to #37.

  • “Get Me an iPhone App and I Need More Twitter.” Demand for Twitter skills jumped 45 spots to #48 after entering the Top 100 for the first time last month. Facebook development skills advanced four spots to #57. And in a huge move, iPhone skills jumped an iPopping 20 spots to #20 in the Index.

Elance empowers service professionals to demonstrate their real-world expertise and differentiate themselves in the online labor market by getting tested in any of the more than 250 Elance skill tests offered for free on the site. More than 13,000 skill tests were taken in April, with popular tests including Adobe Flex Builder 2, ADO.NET 2003, PHP5, Adobe Photoshop CS3, and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 leading the charge.

Meanwhile, the demand for online work is growing across the board as businesses cope with tighter budgets and growing workloads. Marketing and IT departments are hiring online as a flexible alternative to adding full-time staff. In April, companies posted more than 25,000 new jobs on Elance, building on the 250,000 jobs and $100m worth of online work posted on Elance in the last 12 months.

Check out the complete top 100 list of skills in demand below. Any of you out there notice any other startling trends? What skills do you predict will rise and fall in edition? Let us know your insights and analysis in the comments below, and stay tuned for next month's Elance Online Work Index.

Elance Online Work Index - MAY 2009

Rank

Skill

Change

Rank

Skill

Change

1

PHP

--

51

Market Research

-12

2

MySQL

--

52

Google Adwords

-1

3

Article Writing

+2

53

Ghostwriting

+2

4

HTML

-1

54

Java

--

5

Online Writing

+12

55

Direct Marketing

-12

6

CSS

--

56

Freelance Marketing

+2

7

Photoshop

+1

57

Facebook

+4

8

Graphic Design

-4

58

XML

-8

9

Illustrator

+2

59

Non-Fiction Writing

+10

10

Web Content

-3

60

SEM

+7

11

Sales

+10

61

General Office Skills

+11

12

Flash

-2

62

Ruby on Rails

+11

13

WordPress

+2

63

Editing

+5

14

Logo Design

-5

64

SQL

-19

15

AJAX

-3

65

Sales Letters

+6

16

Admin Assistant

+6

66

Windows

+25

17

Excel

+11

67

Visual Basic

+19

18

SEO

-4

68

Newsletters

-8

19

Marketing Strategy

+12

69

Transcription

+12

20

iPhone

+20

70

3d

-6

21

Content Writing

+5

71

Proofreading

+4

22

Javascript

-6

72

Dreamweaver

NEW

23

Internet Marketing

+4

73

Microsoft Office Access

+23

24

PayPal

+5

74

C

NEW

25

Data Entry

-12

75

Drupal

-27

26

Advertising

-1

76

Video Editing

+24

27

Research

-3

77

Microsoft Visual Studio

-11

28

Copywriting

+5

78

Microsoft Office PowerPoint

NEW

29

Joomla

-11

79

osCommerce

-30

30

Blogs

-11

80

Accounting

-3

31

Lead Generation

-8

81

SQL Server

-3

32

XHTML

-2

82

Objective-C

NEW

33

Business Writing

-13

83

Linux

-9

34

Web Services

-2

84

Email Handling

-25

35

Microsoft Office Word

+1

85

User Guides

-1

36

.NET

--

86

Public Relations

-10

37

Creative Writing

+9

87

Telemarketing

-25

38

Email Marketing

-3

88

Technical Writing

-18

39

Telephone Etiquette

+18

89

Report Writing

+8

40

Academic Writing

+2

90

Creative Suite

-8

41

Ebooks

-7

91

DHTML

NEW

42

InDesign

-1

92

Video Production

-7

43

ASP.NET

+1

93

Cover Design

+2

44

Animation

-7

94

Art Direction

-4

45

Custom Illustration

+7

95

Google Analytics

+13

46

Social Networking

-8

96

Actionscript

-40

47

Sales Writing

--

97

Medical Writing

-18

48

Twitter

+45

98

LAMP

NEW

49

Branding

+14

99

Flex

-1

50

ASP

+3

100

Financial Analysis

NEW



* The Elance Online Work Index is calculated using data from more than 100,000 new jobs posted on Elance over recent months. The Elance Online Work Index is a leading market indicator with respect to business and hiring trends.

Comments

As an article writer I found the stats very interesting, especially the fact that article writing was in the top three, followed by Online writing in the #5 spot. This activity is echoed in various forums as is reflected to the number of postings from marketers seeking content for blogs and websites. This is definitely good news.

This is why I've been a member of Elance for so many years. As more and more people turn to the Internet for income sources, I think many will naturally gravitate to Elance. Why? Well for starters, information like what is provided above can be a very powerful roadmap to the budding online entrepreneur looking to generate some money. The top 20 skills should be a wake up call to anyone wanting to earn a living on the Internet. How many of those skills do you have would be the first question I would ask any provider. Very interesting indeed!

Well, among decrease of demand of OsCommer\ce ( in favour of of Magento/SSP/etc. ) and EMail handling ( same to be said here about favor of web-based services like Twitter/Facebook ) I'm wondering about dramatic turndown in ActionScript area (-40)? Being not an expert in this area, I have an interest about what's up with that. And, there is a thing to note here: Video Editing +24, That is showing us that broadcasters are turning to the web, and persons on my area too. I was wondered recently at theirs about how much work they can outsource ( as far as I saw the video production workflow ) but they are still in early thinking about it