Surge in Demand for Freelancers with STEM Skills Drives Higher Earnings for Online Workers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – August 1, 2013 – Elance, the leading online work platform, today released new research revealing that online freelance hiring set new earnings records in Q2, 2013. In particular, earnings for U.S. freelancers are up 69 percent over the prior year. A key driver of this growth is soaring demand for talent with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, which also contributed to average online freelancer earnings growing more than tenfold compared to average pay increases in the traditional labor market.*

SMBs Are Hiring More U.S. STEM Freelancers Online
Hiring on Elance rose 51 percent as more businesses hired online workers to meet their STEM needs, creating more opportunity and significant pay increases across top STEM categories.

Online professionals are enjoying more opportunity and significant pay increases across top STEM job categories:

  • Data science is sexy—Big Data is driving a surge in demand for data scientists who can extract insights from large quantities of data and apply advanced number crunching and statistical skills to improve business performance. Demand for data scientists and statisticians is up 200 percent while the average hourly rate for U.S. based statisticians on Elance more than doubled.
  • The app economy is still thriving—the demand for mobile app developers increased a healthy 49 percent with continued growth in demand for iOS, Android and HTML5 skills. Overall, demand for U.S. based software application developers was up 62 percent, with average rates increasing by 9 percent.
  • The new era of 3D printing and CAD—the rise of 3D printing is pushing demand for computer-aided design (CAD) experts in the U.S. The number of 3D printing related jobs on Elance was up over 200 percent while the overall demand for U.S. based CAD talent grew nearly 70 percent and average pay grew 17 percent.
  • A networking and security renaissance—unexpectedly, the demand for networking and security experts saw remarkable growth on Elance with an over 300 percent increase in hiring. In the U.S., networking and security professionals earned a 20 percent raise in their hourly rates on average.

About Elance
Elance is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today’s freelance revolution, Elance is the world’s leading platform for online work.

Today over 800,000 businesses and 2.8 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1.2 million freelance jobs are completed through Elance annually.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Elance is a privately-held company. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Carolyn Adams
Highwire Public Relations
Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 4
Email: carolyn(at)

*According to the Labor Bureau of Statistics, traditional wages increased 0.5 percent in Q2 2012; 0.4 percent in Q3 2012; .0.4 percent in Q4 2012; .03 percent in Q1 2013. Elance’s data found that U.S. freelancer wages increased 5 percent compared to a year ago.