Desktop, smartphones and tablets aren't the only digital properties getting a cloud makeover - online employment is too.
Elance, a global platform for online employment that helps businesses hire and manage "in the cloud", surveyed more than 3,000 independent professionals and found that 57 percent reported an increase in 2012 income. Sixty-seven percent expect their income to increase in 2013, with the average freelancer expecting to earn 43% more next year.
"In just a few short years, freelancing has gone from a last resort option to a lucrative and fulfilling career," said Fabio Rosati, president and CEO of Elance. "As a 'Business of One', your potential is no longer constrained by where you live or the corporate hierarchy - the survey results clearly show that the online work opportunities are enormous."
Perhaps most interesting is the survey respondents predict that Web programming and Web design freelance jobs will experience the highest and third-highest growth, respectively.
"Companies are investing heavily in Web and creative talent, signaling a shift in how businesses engage customers and commitment to growth," said Rich Pearson, CMO of Elance. "Data from our latest Global Online Employment Report show that the new 'Creative Economy' is particularly vibrant; demand for creative skills such as Web design (+574 percent), voice acting (+295 percent) and content writing (+256 percent) were each up significantly over a year ago.
"While Web programming and design are our strongest categories, some of our fastest growing areas are in legal and accounting jobs, categories that didn't exist on Elance a few years ago. The diversity of freelance jobs on Elance is pretty incredible and we love that. Any work that can be done remotely can be performed on Elance."
The survey also reports higher productivity among freelancers, claiming 79 percent are more productive and even 70 percent claim they are happier working in this environment.
Also important to note, but not surprising, is the surge of the Millennial workforce (born after 1981) in this online freelance realm. Elance reports that this group is adopting online work faster than any other age segment.
Of those surveyed, 46 percent of Millennials freelance full-time and 26 percent have a full-time job and freelance on the side. Seventy-seven percent of this generation possess a bachelor's degree or above.
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