IoT skills gap drives growing demand for freelancers

IoT skills gap drives growing demand for freelancers

The Internet of Things (IoT) skills gap is resulting in a big drive for freelancers, according to freelance website Upwork.

The firm, which claims to operate the world’s largest freelance website, says that it has seen a 67 percent surge in demand for skills related to the Internet of Things over the last year, particularly in relation to programming, data management/visualisation and security.

Related: Businesses slow to adopt Internet of Things technologies

Demand grows for programmers

The firm’s data, collected from its website, reveals the top most popular Internet of Things-related jobs and how demand has risen over the last year:

Top 10 fastest growing IoT skills growth (based on UK annual job posting growth Q1 2015- Q1 2016)

  1. MySQL programming – +889%
  2. AutoCAD – +309%
  3. Security analysis – +300%
  4. Hadoop – +267%

= Data Visualisation – +267%

  1. Algorithms – +243%
  2. Machine learning – +175%
  3. r (statistical programming language) – +154%
  4. Microsoft sql server administration – +120%
  5. Embedded system – +118%

Ryan Johnson, categories director, Upwork, said: “As IoT adoption becomes more widespread, companies are looking to take advantage of our new connected landscape.

“However, they are also quickly realising they do not have the necessary skills in-house to support these new and exciting ventures. As a result, we are seeing many businesses turning to our platform to find highly-skilled freelance professionals with expertise in IoT-related skills.

“Via this global talent pool, businesses are able to quickly plug skills gaps, bypass local skills shortages and access the vital talent they need, when they need it. Businesses who collaborate with freelancers online have a significant competitive advantage as a result.

Related: Skills shortage threatens to derail Internet of Things adoption

Freelancers help IoT growth

Raph Crouan, managing director of Startupbootcamp’s IoT connected devices program, told Internet of Business that companies are increasingly relying on freelancers to meet their immediate needs.

“Clearly, IoT is a growing area of interest for a number of companies and as a result freelancers are adapting to meet their needs. Having more people able to execute on IoT projects can only help strengthen the industry, allowing us to effectively build solutions to important problems.”

The much-cited IoT skills gap has been mentioned as a possible road block from mainstream adoption, and also of projects taking longer – and being much more expensive – than originally planned.

For example, a recent Gartner report highlighted that by 2018, 75 percent of projects will take twice as long as planned. Insufficient staffing/expertise is the top-cited barrier for organisations currently looking to implement Internet of Things technologies.


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