VR is the fastest growing skill for freelancers in Q2 2017

VR skills are becoming an increasingly desirable as more and more companies begin to invest heavily in the technology, according to freelancing website Upwork.

As the money, attention and ideas begin to flow into the VR space, there are still relatively few workers who specialise in the skills needed to produce content and hardware.

The company’s quarterly Upwork Skills Index ranks the 20 fastest growing skills amongst freelancers in the US job market. Tech-related skills make up 65% of the top 20, but sitting on the top are skills related to VR.

The top skills in the top 20 all experienced over 150% year-on-year growth, while the top 10 (including VR skills) grew by more than 300% when compared to the same time in 2016.

The top five are:

  • VR
  • Natural language processing
  • Econometrics
  • Learning management systems
  • Neural networks

Huge growth

This quarter’s report marks the first appearance of VR in the list, and the fact it shoots straight to the top highlights the large amount of enterprise and investment interest in the industry.

Upwork notes that the recent price cut on the Oculus Rift is an indication of the beginnings of VR’s ascent into the mainstream, which the growth among VR skilled freelancers seems to support.   

“Today, the half life of skills is decreasing, making it more difficult than ever for companies to fill open project needs — especially more specialized ones requiring new skills — in-house,” said Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel.

“At the same time, our education system is stuck in the nineteenth century, exacerbating the skills gap. Independent workers, however, are more proactively investing in self-training in order to maximize their own earnings potential by acquiring marketable new skills as needs evolve. As a result, we see businesses relying more on freelance professionals to access the skills they need, when they need them.”

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