Freelancing is the act of performing one’s duties outside of the chain of command. The good thing about freelancing is that the market has no boundaries. Freelancers can live and work in any part of the world; thanks to various communication tools such as video chats, email and messaging services.
Companies that hire freelancers have access to a global market. They have a dwindle of assets (in this case freelancers) to choose from. These companies can choose the exact skill set they are looking for; be it in business consulting, design, marketing, programming etc.
Moreover, these hiring companies can find more affordable help than they could get in their local markets. Certain countries of the world are known for specific specialties: US is known for writing and translation while India is known for quality development in software and technology expertise at a budget-friendly rate.
Freelancers are not bound to one location. They can live wherever they want. Freelancers are normally competitive in what they charge for services they offer provided the cost of living in that particular area is affordable.
Professionals in developing countries usually turn to freelancing because they cannot secure good jobs in a cutthroat job market. Most of them end up making far more money from freelancing than they would if they worked for someone else.
To add icing on the cake, freelancing has a flexible schedule; freelancers can work anytime and in some cases anywhere. Many people therefore opt for this employment model because it offers more freedom.
Freelancers are in almost every country. However, there are countries that stand out and have more freelancers than the rest of the world. These countries are India, The Philippines, US, UK, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Freelancers in these six countries differ in skill-set depending on what these countries offer. Industries vary greatly from one country to the other.
It’s no surprise that India is home to 24% of online workers. Indian freelancers are competitive globally owing to the fact that outsourcing is a main export. Moreover, they have high levels of education and technical expertise. In fact, 55% of freelancers in India work in technology or software development.
India has a large workforce therefore the competition for each open position is high. Many professionals in India have found out that freelancing can supplement a paycheck. Freelancing has made a huge impact on the Indian economy. It has contributed a whooping 400 billion dollars to gross domestic product.(GDP).
Freelancing serves an important role for two demographics in India: retired professionals and women. Enabling traditional home life and balance of work, many women in India are able to generate sufficient income for themselves.
Retired professionals, who may still need financial resources, can work as much or as little as they want, leveraging their years of work experience without the high pressure of an ever-evolving workforce.
Bangladesh is slightly behind India in relation to freelancing population. It is home to 16% of the global freelance population. Freelancers in Bangladesh concentrate majorly on sales and marketing support, technology, software development, creative and multimedia .
Freelancers outsource work so that it can provide financial security and independence for many who would have no other path to the same earning potential.The average wage in Bangladesh is around 60 US dollars per month.With time, freelancing will open up doors to much higher earnings in this country .
U.S. does not have quite the freelance population of Bangladesh or India. However, it has a significant number of freelancers. There are about 55 million freelancers who work in the U.S. This is around 35% of the total American workforce. Many freelancers in the US have chosen to supplement their 9-to-5 jobs with freelancing.
Not all Americans rely on it as a primary source of income. In the US, this market has split fairly among technology, software development, multimedia writing and translation.
Pakistan ranks 4th according to the freelancing industry report of 2016. Many graduates in Pakistan have bachelor degrees in software engineering and computer science because higher education institutes in Pakistan major on the two.
However, there is a glut of recent graduates that find it challenging to find full-time work. And so, they turn to freelancing, which generates close to a whopping 1 billion US dollars in a single year.
Not to be left out of the freelancing party, the island country in Southeast Asia trails Pakistan at around 6% of the global freelance population. Not only is the congested job market leading more and more people to freelancing industry, but also traffic problems in urban areas making getting to work so stressful.
Freelancing, on the other hand, has allowed Filipinos to work from home with no commute. Manila ,Quezon and Cebu Cities have the highest concentration of freelancers and-no surprise-some of the worst traffic. Manila, the capital of Philippines has been ranked as having the worst traffic in the world.
Freelancers in Philippines specialize in customer service, technical support and content writing. The country is ranked as one of the best English-speaking countries in Asia. Their freelance market (which has solid skills in English) has attracted many freelancing companies all over the world who are in need of English-speaking freelancers.
6. United Kingdom
United Kingdom comes in at position 6 on the list. United Kingdom by far has the market on the professional services of freelancing industries which include: legal services, business consulting and accounting. The UK dominates the professional services, with around 22% in this category. Multimedia and creative skills are also in demand in the UK.
Freelancing is an attractive option for many graduates leaving college-who either have first class or second class degrees. In addition to this, some graduates say freelancing will be part of their career strategy in the five years following completion of their respective degrees.
However, confidence in the UK freelance market has decreased due to Brexit. It has made self-employed people (freelancers included) to be in a state of limbo because self-employed people are the ones who get hit hardest by downturns.
This is due to taxation and government constraints on freelancers. However, changes are in progress to provide freelancers with a friendly tax system. This will enable the freelance market in the UK to swing upwards again.
From the above, it’s crystal clear that Asia leads the freelance market by far. Asian countries have affordable and highly-skilled workforce. Consequently, this has made freelancing companies to focus more on Asia when hiring freelancers. This does not mean that freelancers are hired in Asian countries only-these companies hire in every part of the world; Africa included with powerhouses such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
The rise of freelancing may be a key visible indicator of the future of work, notably in terms of collaboration practices. The market will be more prosperous when countries continue to expand their workforce globally.