@ThingsExpo Authors: Ed Featherston, Liz McMillan, Xenia von Wedel, Jason Bloomberg, Yeshim Deniz

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Freelancer.com Fast 50 reveals a rise in data and engineering jobs as the Internet of Things takes off

SYDNEY, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- STEM-related online work takes off as startups embrace the Internet of Things; all things 3D soar on the back of continual 3D printing advances; SMEs are trusting freelancers with their finances and corporate identity; Apple is in the dregs as Android continues to dominate; Content strategies rule as SEO industry continues to reel in the wake of Google algorithm updates; and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube jobs fall sharply as platforms tighten the screws and organic reach plummets.

From a record 751,115 good* online jobs, Freelancer.com data scientists have teased out the latest online work trends - and the results show a sharp rise in STEM related jobs as startups and SMEs embrace the Internet of Things future. Freelancer.com Chief Executive Matt Barrie isn't surprised:

"This quarter's Fast 50 confirms what I and many other industry leaders have known for years - the developed world has a STEM shortage, and our education systems are often years behind the cutting edge. We risk making our University system irrelevant in a world that is increasingly adopting online education platforms like Khan Academy, Udacity and Coursera. Faced with a lack of local technical talent, small businesses and startups are increasingly turning to platforms like Freelancer.com to find STEM workers."

STEM-related online work skyrockets as startups embrace the Internet of Things (IoT). The inexorable tide of innovation is increasingly turning to internet enabled devices, which a 2013 Cisco white paper suggests will be responsible for a massive $14.4 trillion of value between now and 2022. The IoT fascination gained widespread attention when Google acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash. Nest Labs represents the growing market for environmental control systems, which we predict will become ever present in our homes and offices in coming years.

As more entrepreneurs have wifi lightbulb moments, businesses integrating hardware and software have begun generating huge demand for STEM skills, and faced with shortages across the developed world, startups and SMEs are turning to online freelancers to fill the gaps.

On the hardware side, core disciplines like Matlab & Mathematica (up 37.2% to 1803 jobs), Electrical Engineering (up 21.0% to 1212 jobs), Electronics (up 15.0% to 1203 jobs) and Mathematics (up 17.8% to 1367 jobs) have all seen huge rises.

Meanwhile on the software side, the sheer volume of internet available devices, estimated by CISCO to reach almost 3.5 times the global population by next year, has changed the way startups and SMEs use and collect data. Smart devices which are in sync with and seek to predict user behaviour are largely centered around data manipulation. Their new found prominence is confirmed by a huge rise in the programming language Python (up 22.9% to 1864 jobs) and the rise in core IoT-related disciplines: Data Mining (up 18.3% to 1770 jobs), Web Scraping (up 15.4% to 4580 jobs) and Data processing (up 6.6% to 6116 jobs).

All things 3D soar on the back of continual 3D printing advances.
3D printing is another industry that is surging on the back of technological progress. As the average price of a domestic 3D printer continues to plummet, a whole industry around 3D design and modelling is being created. For the 8th consecutive quarter, 3D printing related industries have shot upwards, giving a total gain of over 144% compared to Q2 2013. This quarter alone, 3D Design, 3D Modelling, 3D Rendering and 3D Animation are up 31.6% (to 1061 jobs), 13.2% (to 3657 jobs), 11.0% (to 3090 jobs) and 9.2% (to 3475 jobs) respectively. Looking at 3D printing jobs over the past 2 years on Freelancer.com (see graph above), the continuous upward trend and acceleration in 2014 affirm that the next industrial revolution has arrived.

The strong growth in the 3D industry has spurred technologists and corporations into a race to design and patent the latest in 3D technology. A recent 3D Printing Technology Insight Report from the Patent Insight Group showed a dramatic rise in the total number of published patents over the last 52 years within the 3D printing industry. The number of patents published for 3D printing and additive manufacturing in the last three and a half years equates to almost the entire number awarded in the previous 50 years combined. With this trajectory, we are confident the industry will go from strength to strength.

SMEs are trusting freelancers with their finances and corporate identity. While STEM jobs have had a stellar quarter, another significant trend is the rise in SMEs choosing to outsource their Finance (up 15.4% to 1269 jobs) and Accounting (up 21.8% to 1672 jobs) work. Increased transparency provided by cloud accounting packages such as Xero and Quickbooks is helping to pull basic finance and accounting into the 21st century. Meanwhile, SMEs are also engraining freelancers even further into their businesses, working on their branding and Corporate Identity (up 19.4% to 1208 jobs), as Business Cards, Powerpoint, Brochure Design and Flyer Design rise by 11.9% (to 1003 jobs), 22.6% (to 1026 jobs), 10.8% (to 1825 jobs) and 24.7% (to 1074 jobs), respectively.

Apple is in the dregs as Android continues to dominate. Since the second half of 2012, the Freelancer.com Fast 50 has been tracking the consistent and inevitable rise in Android adoption, as Google and Samsung's strategy of focusing on the developing world and wearable tech pays off. With the recent hype around Android Play, the world has been fiercely focused on the global powerhouse. Growth in Apple ecosystem related jobs have stalled, and this quarter is no different. Java is up 10.0% (to 6317 jobs), while Android has been stable at 11083 jobs, losing only 0.5% jobs this quarter. On the other hand, iPhone and Objective C are down by 10.5% and 13.1% respectively (to 9136 and 1944 jobs). However, the worst result is reserved for iPad jobs, down a massive 18.4% (from 3133 to 2556 jobs) as global sales show a stark fall in Apple's latest Q2 2014 earnings report.

Content strategies rule as SEO industry continues to reel in the wake of Google algorithm updates. An industry closely followed by the Freelancer Fast 50 has been SEO (stagnant at 12,657 jobs) which has suffered continual quarters of decline. Businesses have been battered and bruised by Panda and Penguin updates which have continually redefined search results and put billions of SME marketing dollars to waste. As a result SMEs are now looking elsewhere to put their hard-earned cash. And without a doubt, the industry that has benefited from SEO's fall is content marketing. Businesses are using high quality and engaging information to remain front of mind and drive customer acquisition rather than merely manipulating the search engine algorithm. With core disciplines of Content Writing, Creative Writing and Report Writing up by 22.2%, 21.6% and 18.4% respectively (to 4793, 1276 and 3070 jobs), it is clear that content is the new king!

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube marketing all take a hit as Facebook tightens the screws for organic reach of Facebook Pages. Facebook marketing took a hit this quarter with jobs decreasing 9.0% (to 7090 jobs) which has come off the back of Facebook's dramatic algorithm updates to lower the organic reach of Facebook pages. Some reports have indicated the organic reach of pages have dropped from 16% to as low as 1-2%, devastating marketers who are being held to ransom to gain benefit from the Facebook groups they have have spent considerable time, money and effort in building. This leads us to believe that marketers are pulling back from spending a significant commitment in building communities that they don't actually own.

Joe Lazauskas described this best as "build an audience that secretly belongs to a social media mob at your own peril, and don't be surprised when the brands and publishers that own their audiences are the only ones that survive."

In the wake of this, Facebook is pulling out all stops to encourage businesses to advertise on the platform, this week launching its Ads Manager on Android, iOS and the Mobile Web. But the real shock has been the dramatic fall for both Twitter and Youtube, with a loss of 19.9% (to 2318 jobs) and 23.2% (to 1218 jobs) respectively. Twitter's slowing global growth rates in recent quarters has seen businesses enthusiasm for the platform wane with it. Twitter reported it had 255 million Monthly Active Users in Q1 2014, which despite being up 25% year on year, was only up a paltry 6% from 241 million in Q4 2013. Despite a brief surge during the World Cup, Twitter has failed to kick any goals for business owners.

About Freelancer®

Four time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. Over 11.6 million registered users have posted 6.1 million projects and contests to date in over 700 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN.

Notes to the editor:


Q2 '14

Q1 '14

Change %

Matlab & Mathematica




3D Design




Flyer Design




Academic Writing








Social Media Marketing




Content Writing








Creative Writing




Electrical Engineering








Corporate Identity




Report Writing




Data Mining












Web Scraping








3D Modelling




Business Cards








3D Rendering




Brochure Design








3D Animation




Data Processing




Technical Writing




C++ Programming




Software Development








Shopping Carts








C Programming




Email Marketing




Internet Marketing




Mobile Phone




















Facebook Marketing




Website Management




Software Testing












Objective C




Game Design
















* "Good" jobs are those which have been filtered for spam, reposts, or that are otherwise unlikely to be filled.


SOURCE Freelancer.com

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