Upwork Unveils Most In-Demand Work Skills in 2024

March 19, 2024

New report finds Data Science & Analytics is one of the fastest-growing work categories as generative AI modeling and machine learning produce strong demand from businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 19, 2024 (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 in 2024.

As new technologies continue to emerge and companies recognize the need for new skills to stay competitive, Upwork’s study reveals the extent to which businesses are increasingly turning to skilled freelance professionals to meet key project needs and address skills gaps. While businesses are looking to freelance talent for scale and specialization, independent professionals are also leading the charge in adopting new technologies and upskilling. In particular, the AI & machine learning subcategory on Upwork saw 70% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2023, as clients and independent professionals collaborate on today’s most cutting-edge projects.

“Every company is vying for the best talent and there remains huge demand for a broad range of skills across the Upwork marketplace as businesses big and small are finding solutions in the growing reservoir of skilled independent professionals,” said Kelly Monahan, managing director of the Upwork Research Institute. “In 2024, emergent technologies like generative AI are having a major impact on the skills-based economy. Of course business demand for these types of skills is increasing, but we’re also seeing a complementary impact, whereby AI technology is driving greater demand for all types of work across our marketplace.”

Among the lists of most in-demand skills, Data Science & Analytics is one of the fastest-growing types of work, and generative AI modeling and machine learning were the two fastest-growing skills in that category. Additionally, notable new skills to make the top 10 most in-demand skills lists this year include medical and executive virtual assistance, as well as development & IT project management and digital marketing campaign management.

“As technology rapidly changes and more specific expertise is needed, more and more businesses are coming to Upwork to find the solutions they need,” said Jacqueline DeStefano-Tangorra, an AI consultant on Upwork. “Consequently, the demand for my skill set has never been higher. Upskilling and becoming an AI professional on Upwork has opened many doors. I get to work on interesting projects and I am a stronger partner for my clients as I’m more efficient, productive, and can deliver better outcomes.”

Here are the in-demand work skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Data Science & Analytics Skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Coding & Web Development Skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Sales & Marketing Skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Accounting & Consulting Skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Customer Service & Admin Support Skills for 2024:

Upwork’s Design & Creative Skills for 2024:

Connect with skilled, global, in-demand talent on Upwork’s work marketplace. For further information on these skills and how to apply them, tune into an online Q&A with Kelly Monahan, managing director of Upwork’s Research Institute, on April 10, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. EST on our community events page.




Skills data was sourced from the Upwork database and is based on U.S. freelancer earnings from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. Each skill had a minimum of 250 projects with active work during the period. Year-over-year growth was estimated by comparing freelancer earnings in the full year 2023 to freelancer earnings over the same period in 2022.

About Upwork

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises 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 $3.8 billion on Upwork in 2023 across more than 10,000 skills in categories including website & app development, creative & design, data science & analytics, customer support, finance & accounting, consulting, and operations. Learn more at upwork.com and join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X.

1 Note: This skill was not available in 2022, but was the fastest-growing in terms of percentage growth in 2023.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

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