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Upwork Unveils Most In-Demand Skills for Independent Professionals in 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Upwork (Nasdaq: UPWK), the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent, today announced the most in-demand skills that organizations are expected to seek from skilled professionals on Upwork in 2023, across technology, marketing, customer service & admin support, accounting & consulting, and design & creative.

At a time when companies continue to face a persistent talent shortage and navigate economic uncertainty, Upwork’s new report reveals the extent to which businesses are increasingly turning to skilled freelance professionals to meet key project needs and address skills gaps. At the same time, millions of professionals are reevaluating their priorities, exploring new ways of working and redefining what it means to have a fulfilling career, especially in light of variability across the labor market. Recent Upwork data shows 60 million Americans performed freelance work in the past 12 months, representing 39% of the U.S. workforce, an all-time high.

“We are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime, tectonic shift in the notion of work, where skilled professionals are rethinking what they want from their careers, and are gravitating toward the flexibility, autonomy and benefits of freelancing,” said Margaret Lilani, VP of talent solutions at Upwork. “At the same time, the uncertain economic environment is pushing businesses to explore new solutions to stay competitive and they’re finding unlocked potential in the growing pool of skilled independent professionals. As we kick off 2023, it’s a perfect time for freelancers to expand their skillsets or break into a new career, while companies seek independent talent across a broader range and at a higher rate than ever before.”

Upwork’s most in-demand skills lists reveal the essential role that highly skilled independent talent will play in filling talent gaps and solving businesses' most pressing needs in 2023. Among the list of most in-demand skills, those with the highest year-over-year growth on the Upwork platform within the noted categories are sales & business development (54%), data entry (47%), accounting (45%), and 3D animation (44%).

“As we enter a new year during uncertain economic times, professional freelancing is a great way to leverage your talents, build new skills, and diversify and protect your income,” said Kevin Campbell, a full stack web developer with over $1 million in earnings on Upwork. “Businesses are always searching for skilled independent talent, especially now. Not only is the demand for my services at an all-time high, but I’m in complete control of how I want to design my career – where I work, when I work, who I work with, and how I define success – it’s a really positive position to be in.”

Upwork’s Top 10 Most In-Demand Tech Skills for 2023:

  1. Full Stack Development
  2. Front-End Development
  3. Back-End Development
  4. Mobile App Development
  5. Web Design
  6. Ecommerce Website Development
  7. UX/UI Design
  8. CMS Development
  9. Manual Testing
  10. Scripting & Automation

Upwork’s Top 10 Most In-Demand Marketing Skills for 2023:

  1. SEO
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. Other Digital Marketing
  4. Lead Generation
  5. Sales & Business Development
  6. Telemarketing
  7. Search Engine Marketing
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Marketing Strategy
  10. Marketing Automation

Upwork’s Top 10 Most In-Demand Customer Service & Admin Support Skills for 2023:

  1. Email, Phone & Chat Support
  2. General Virtual Assistance
  3. Data Entry
  4. Digital Project Management
  5. General Research Services
  6. Tech Support
  7. Dropshipping & Order Processing
  8. Community Management
  9. Market Research
  10. Transcription

Upwork’s Top 10 Most In-Demand Accounting & Consulting Skills for 2023:

  1. Accounting
  2. Recruiting & Talent Sourcing
  3. Bookkeeping
  4. Financial Analysis & Modeling
  5. Management Consulting
  6. Instructional Design
  7. HR Administration
  8. Business Analysis & Strategy
  9. Tax Preparation
  10. Financial Management/CFO

Upwork’s Top 10 Most In-Demand Design & Creative Skills for 2023:

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Video Editing
  3. Illustration
  4. 3D Animation
  5. Presentation Design
  6. Image Editing
  7. Cartoons & Comics
  8. Product & Industrial Design
  9. 2D Animation
  10. Video Production

Connect with skilled, global, in-demand talent on Upwork’s work marketplace. For further information on these skills and how to apply them, please tune into an online Q&A with Margaret Lilani, VP of talent solutions at Upwork, on January 24, 2023 on our community events page.



Skills data was sourced from the Upwork database and is based on United States freelancer earnings from January 1, 2022 to October 31, 2022. Each skill had a minimum of 500 projects with active work during the period. Year-over-year growth was estimated by comparing the freelancer earnings in 2022 to freelancer earnings in the same period in 2021.

About Upwork

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to over 30% of the Fortune 100 with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential. Our talent community earned over $3.3 billion on Upwork in 2021 across more than 10,000 skills in categories including website & app development, creative & design, customer support, finance & accounting, consulting, and operations. Learn more at and join us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.


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