Everyone knows that it’s a rotten time to be looking for a job (and if you don’t, Google will graph those rising unemployment numbers for you). The real question is what to do about it. There’s plenty of advice out there, including a series of career and job advice posts on professional networking site LinkedIn. But online outsourcing marketplace Elance is offering something a bit more specific, because its Elance Online Work Index lists the exact skills that potential employers are looking for on the site.
Of course, those numbers only apply within Elance’s corner of the job market, but it’s a sizable corner: The index incorporates statistics about more than 100,000 jobs that have been posted on Elance in the last few months. With companies trying to keep costs under control (which may mean eliminating full-time staff), opportunities for outsourced work are still flowing in, with 25,000 new jobs posted last month.
So what are employers looking for? Pretty much what you’d expect, Elance says: People who can help bring in revenue. Tech skills remain at the top of the list (in part because those jobs are Elance’s bread and butter), with demand for PHP and MySQL holding on to spots #1 and #2, respectively, but sales (#11), marketing strategy (#19), and internet marketing (#23) all climbed up the list, with sales jumping up 10 spots and marketing strategy going up 12. There’s also a thirst for constant content production, with article writing climbing to the #3 spot, and online writing (#5) also moving up 12. That means writing has two spots out of the top 5 — not too shabby.
Meanwhile, demand for more basic tasks like data entry (#25) and email handling (#84) took a sharp dive, as did some technical skills like Drupal (#75) and Actionscript (#96).
So what does it all mean? Well, it’s probably risky to read much into month-to-month shifts, particularly since the chart doesn’t reflect changes in total demand, just how the categories stack up relative to each other. Plus, there’s no discussion of pay — I’m guessing most of the article writers aren’t making as much as the MySQL programmers one spot above. Still, there are probably worse ideas than boning up on your sales pitch.