Be Your Own Boss: Tracking the Freelance Economy with LinkedIn Data

October 21, 2015


I’ve always admired professional freelancers and wondered what it takes to make this transition. For example, my roommate has experience working inside Yale's admissions office. Could he counsel and coach high school seniors? Or my friend who knows exactly how to do my makeup for any occasion. Could she take side gigs as a makeup artist? Even my dad, who has taken some of my most viral social media photos (thanks, dad!) could, potentially, freelance as a photographer. While these are my own personal observations, there's obviously a much bigger economic and political discussion underway right now about freelancing. With this in mind, we began to examine the freelance economy from a LinkedIn perspective and surfaced some interesting initial insights:

What are the top industries for freelancing?

We began by focusing on LinkedIn members with the word “freelance” in their job title, and then we aggregated the most common industries and skill sets found (chart follows). The top results range from media and communications, to engineering and software development.

Of the most popular industries, \"Arts