Top Skills to Keep Contractors in Demand

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It’s no secret that some skills seem to lend themselves to the contracting industry better than others, but getting a jump-start on some of these could stand you in good stead for the future.

A recent study by Upwork has revealed a list of in-demand skills for contractors and freelancers which shows who’s most likely to be getting every job that comes their way. Whether you’ve been itching to learn a new talent to better develop in your industry or you’re looking to take a new direction entirely, here are some of the top skills which can help you to stand out from the crowd.


Like in previous years, the demand for new tech-focused capabilities is high, especially for contractors. This year the number one skill in demand was Blockchain. Originally conceived for transferring Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,  developers and entrepreneurs are finding new ways to use Blockchain, causing the demand for skilled workers to skyrocket. 

Second on the list was TensorFlow, the machine learning software which became open-source back in November 2015. This is followed by Amazon DynamoDB, the NoSQL database service for Amazon Web Services. Around half of all talents which increased in demand in 2018 were technology-based, echoing a huge demand in the industry.

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Content strategy

Businesses without solid brand messaging are finding themselves lagging behind and more than ever, they’re relying on external sources to give them the support they need. If you have marketing experience, honing your content skills could stand you in good stead for the future.

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Artificial Intelligence

As contractors, it’s important that we stay flexible and keep our finger on the pulse. This allows us to adapt seamlessly to industry changes.

The demand to understand the fundamentals of artificial intelligence is rapidly increasing due to industries such as augmented reality, machine learning and AI-powered chatbot becoming more popular. This is showcasing businesses desires to use artificial intelligence to their benefit.

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As video becomes a more popular method of delivering content for businesses, more contractors with the right skillset are finding themselves more highly coveted. Among the most demanded skills were voiceover, subtitling and artistic direction. These skills may be sought after to meet the growing demand for businesses to find different ways of delivering messages and better engage with their audiences.

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Know your worth

Developing your skills is one of the best ways of increasing your take-home pay and staying on top in the industry, but did you know that your age and location also play a role.

ClearSky have tailored advice to help you take your contracting career and day rate to the next level. To make sure you’re being paid your worth, give our Day Rate Calculator a go.