IoT skills gap drives growing demand for freelancers

Demand for jobs related to the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing and the lack of qualified people is forcing companies to turn to freelancers to fill the void.
By Doug Drinkwater August 17, 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) skills gap is resulting in a big drive for freelancers, according to Upwork, which specializes in freelance jobs. The firm says that it has seen a 67% surge in demand for skills related to the IoT over the last year, particularly in relation to programming, data management/visualization, and security.

Demand grows for programmers

The firm’s data reveals the top most popular IoT-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%
  5. Data Visualisation — 267%
  6. Algorithms — 243%
  7. Machine learning — 175%
  8. Statistical programming language — 154%
  9. Microsoft sql server administration — 120%
  10. Embedded systems — 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 realizing 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," Johnson said.

Freelancers help IoT growth

Raph Crouan, managing director of Startupbootcamp’s IoT connected devices program, said companies are 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," he said. "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. A report by Gartner said that by 2018, 75% of projects will take twice as long as planned. Insufficient staffing/expertise is the top-cited barrier for organizations currently looking to implement Internet of Things technologies. 

Doug Drinkwater is editor at Internet of Business, which is hosting the Internet of Manufacturing Conference November 1-2, 2016, in Chicago. This article originally appeared hereInternet of Business is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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