Report: Demand for Mobile Development Skills Up

Elance reported continued strong demand in IT hiring at its cloud-based job site, which caters to companies looking to hire contract workers for online projects.

In a report released this week, Elance said it posted 98,032 new jobs in Q3, earning the online professionals who took those jobs $24.5 million over the quarter — up 42 percent from a year ago. IT-related jobs generated the most earnings, netting 59 percent of overall earnings at the site.

There was also some indication in the results that companies are starting to spend more to attract new business. While the marketing category received only 7 percent of total earnings, it had the fastest growth with earnings up 61 percent from a year ago.

For developers, mobile was a key growth area. Elance noted that geolocation services are becoming increasingly important to businesses looking to attract customers online via their mobile devices.

Demand for iPhone programmers was up, jumping five spots to No. 16, while Blackberry Programmers jumped 11 spots to No. 89. The Elance top 100 skills in demand list also reflected the growth of Android devices; Android programmers moved up 26 spots to 49 on the list.

“Small businesses are adopting hybrid work models where onsite teams are augmented by flexible online teams with hot skills such as HTML5 and mobile geolocation services leveraging Google Maps,” Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance, said in a statement. “Online workers are finding financial rewards and more purpose in their work as they create their own economic recovery by serving businesses in need of their expertise.”

Elance also noted the listings for certain programming skills seems to reflect a growing demand by businesses to redesign their Websites and improve the user experience with new elements. For example, demand for jQuery Programmers increased 125 percent, jumping up 41 spots to make the top 50 skills list. jQuery is a popular open source Javascript library.

HTML5 programming made the top 100 skills list for the first time at No. 70, but it still has a ways to go to catch its more established rival Adobe Flash at No. 11, which dropped one spot from last quarter.

 Content creation skills

While tech skills dominate Elance’s top 100 list, the latest quarterly results show demand for content creation skills are on the rise.

 For example, Article and Content Writing (Nos. 2 and 6) moved up one spot in the top ten this past quarter. Two others, Graphic Design (No. 3) and WordPress (No. 5) also moved up one spot each, while maintaining their positions in the top ten.  

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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