Freelancers Find that Skills-Based Training Plus a College Degree Add Up to a Better Career
The 2018 Freelancing in America study from UpWork Global reports that freelancers are a fast-growing segment of working Americans. The study, which polled 6,000 U.S. workers, found that freelance workers now make up 56.7 million members of the American workforce. That is a growth of 3.7 million Americans since 2014.
Skills Training Is More Important than a College Degree
The study also found that freelancers place more value on the skills training they have received than they place on their college degrees. In fact, 93% of freelancers with four-year college degrees said that skills training was useful, compared to only 79% who said their college education was useful to the work they do now.
The study also found that 70% of full-time freelancers participated in skills training during the past six months, compared to 49% of full-time non-freelancers. That shows that skills training is an important part of ongoing education for freelancers.
Other Key Findings from the Study
- One-third of American workers are freelancing. In fact, 35% of Americans freelanced this year.
- Freelancing is a choice, not a necessity. The study found that over the last five years, people are increasingly starting to freelance by choice. When polled about whether they started freelancing by choice or necessity, 61% of freelancers said by choice. That is an increase of eight percentage points (up from 53%) since 2014.
- Freelancing offers flexibility. Forty-two percent of the freelancers who participated in the study agreed that freelancing gives them the flexibility they need. Respondents reported that personal circumstances like childcare or health concerns prevented them from seeking full-time employment.
Trend: Adding Skills Training to College Studies Leads to More Flexible Careers
The lesson for students today is that a college degree alone is becoming less likely to lead to a rewarding career. Increasingly, skills training plus a college degree is becoming a formula for success.
We Invite You to Explore All Your College and Career Options. . .
Participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes. Should you pursue a career which places skills-based training ahead of a formal degree? Participate in the study to receive more information on both college and career options which are right for you.
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