Report Outlines 7 Of The Best Freelance, Part-time Jobs For College Graduates

Posted By Terri Williams on June 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Report Outlines 7 Of The Best Freelance, Part-time Jobs For College Graduates

For many reasons, some college graduates may not be willing or able to work on a full-time, permanent basis. In fact, according to some estimates, there are close to 10 million workers in the “gig” economy. But some jobs are more conducive to freelance, consulting or part-time work than others—and also pay much more than the median average hourly wage.

A recent CareerCast report reveals some of the best jobs in this category, along with the median hourly wage for each position. (Since GoodCall is geared toward college students and their parents, we are only listing the jobs that typically require a degree.)

Median Hourly Pay
Accountant $32.30
Management Analyst $39.10
Multimedia Artist $30.76
Writer/Author $28.97
Occupational Therapist $38.54
Information Security Analyst $43.33
Software Developer $48.41

So what’s fueling the rise in freelance, consulting and part-time jobs? Matthew Vaccaro, practice lead for Ace Talent Curators in Miami, points toward three factors: IT innovations, a tighter job market and costs, and millennials in the workforce.

The IT Effect

Two of the seven jobs on the list–the two with the highest median hourly wages–are in information technology. “Big data and business intelligence are at the forefront of businesses worldwide,” Vaccaro says. “New programming languages and the platforms they run on have created a real need for talent in the marketplace for software developers across a variety of disciplines.”

He says the cyberthreat landscape is ever-present and ever-changing, along with the skills needed to mitigate these issues. “Mobile security, data analytics, security analysts, application security, security architects and investigators, hacking experts/penetration testers are roles that are needed because many organizations, quite frankly, don’t have adequate resources or talent to keep pace.” As a result, Vaccaro says, it has never been easier for those who wish to work freelance, part-time, or as consultants to find positions that suit their lifestyle.

The IT effect also is a driving force behind many of the other jobs on the list. Kyle Kensing, CareerCast’s online content editor, tells GoodCall, “Some of the rise in popularity among freelance jobs can be attributed to the proliferation of online connectivity.” While internet access has been widespread for at least two decades, improved Wi-Fi and advancements in smartphones, tablets, etc., have made it easier for freelancers and consultants to work offsite. “For a company in Chicago, the best person for a particular job may live in Seattle—and location is not a problem.”

A tighter job market and costs

As companies seek ways to cut costs, irregular workers are an attractive option. “For employers, it’s the ability to hire someone on an as-needed basis for projects, without having to put them on payroll full-time and pay benefits and additional costs,” Vaccaro says.

Kensing adds this is particularly important for one-off projects that might not be included in the budget for a full-time position. “For example, with some of the other best jobs on the list, like delivery driver or materials mover, employers can hire part-timers to meet the demand for seasonal spikes like the holidays.”

Millennials in the workforce

Vaccaro notes that millennials enjoy the flexibility of being able to work and set their schedule. “Millennials are well-educated, skilled in technology, very self-confident, able to multi-task and have plenty of energy,” he says. While they seek challenges, work-life balance is of the utmost importance to them, Vaccaro says. “Unlike baby boomers who may stay at a job the length of their careers, millennials tend to change positions or get up and go frequently.”

This is something that Karen A. Young, SPHR, president of Harrisburg, PA-based HR Resolutions, sees on a professional and a personal level. She says millennials are more interested in their time than in the benefits and perks that accompany traditional full-time jobs. “My youngest stepdaughter was a temp for almost two years (and it drove her father and I nuts that she didn’t have a ‘real’ job), but she was perfectly content—paid her bills, took time off when she wanted to and enjoyed her life.”

Young says she and her husband—like other boomers—were so focused on their careers that they struggle to recognize anything less than a full-time, long-term job as a good prospect.

But it is the absence of “full-time” or “long-term” that makes this type of work so attractive to many. According to Kensing, “From the employee perspective, freelance and consulting work is appealing because of the flexibility.” Part of this is the flexibility of internet connectively, “but the hours and the type of work can also be flexible.” Heading into the 2020s, he expects the “independent” employee sector to increase.

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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