Freelancing Site Says Machine Learning Is Hottest Skill

Freelancing site Upwork identified machine learning as the hottest skill in demand by employers in its latest skills index.

While not limited to software development, the index is dominated by programming-related skills, such as development skills in MySQL, Swift, Android and APIs, among others.

"IT and development skills account for more than half (55 percent) of the top 20 fastest-growing skills," Upwork said in its Q3 skills index report. "From Web development (MySQL by Oracle ($ORCL), API, .NET by Microsoft ($MSFT) and WordPress) to desktop development (C++) to mobile development (Swift by Apple ($AAPL), Android by Google ($GOOG)), developers continue to be in extremely high demand," the report said.

As in many such reports, Big Data makes a substantial showing.

"Data science is the fastest-growing category on Upwork, and machine learning tops the list of fastest-growing skills," the report said. "As advanced algorithms become more complex, their capacity to predict, model and analyze data has turned into a subfield in its own right. Companies are harvesting explosive amounts of data, and demand for machine learning specialists who can build adaptive algorithms and extract the value of this new data is increasing in turn."

Upwork ranks its most-wanted skills in its quarterly reports by calculating the rate of growth on its freelancer billings from one year's respective quarter to the next.

While dominated by development-related skills, the index also has several entries from other professions, such as marketing, social media management, project management and so on.

Upwork provided the following handy infographic to see all this information in a glance:

Upwork Q3 2016 Skills Index
[Click on image for larger view.] Upwork Q3 2016 Skills Index (source: Upwork)

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.