Freelancing may not be new but it is certainly increasing in popularity. There are almost five million freelancers working in the UK, according to the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics. That’s out of a total workforce of nearly 27 million, so it is definitely a significant and growing number.
Rapid developments in technology — in terms of internet bandwidth, hardware and software/apps — have made it very easy for people to work remotely and to set up and run businesses at a low cost.
Added to this, technology has reshaped corporate learning and is continuing to do so. The corporate eLearning market will be worth $31bn by 2020, according to industry analyst Technavio (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-corporate-e-learning-market-164000323.html). This growth will be driven by organisations promoting self-paced learning among employees.
These developments look like great news for eLearning professionals but they are only one part of the story. Many organizations have used eLearning to cut training costs and to scale learning. Compliance training has been a huge success story for this reason.
But cost cutting and a shift towards more agile ways of delivering learning have seen organizations reduce the size of L&D teams. Bringing in resources at the point of need is becoming a business imperative. This means eLearning becomes more of an outsourced function. eLearning and learning technology teams have been hit particularly hard across the public, private and charity sectors, in recent years.
So what does this mean for freelance eLearning professionals?
It is hard to get concrete data on the size of the freelance eLearning market in the UK. However, as an eLearning marketplace whom provide this On-Demand and point of need service, we are starting to see some emerging trends.
Firstly, we are seeing growth in the number of freelance eLearning professionals. Those who are moving into eLearning/Learning Technology freelancing have typically held permanent roles such as Instructional Design (eLearning), eLearning Designers, eLearning Team Leaders or Design Leads.
Secondly, these professionals are bringing with them a wide variety of skills, including:
- Defining learning and performance needs.
- High-level design skills.
- Deep understanding of authoring tools.
- Product development including Storyboard, build, graphics, voice over and assessment.
- Project Management skills.
- Evaluation skills.
What are we seeing?
Finally, we are seeing client demand for discrete learning projects. These reflect organisations’ needs to respond quickly to business needs and the fact that they are increasingly looking to outsource their eLearning development. The days of designing and implementing an eLearning programme over 12 months are long gone, and so is the need to employ an in-house team to deliver it.
Clients are often looking for alternatives to traditional eLearning, so freelancers must stay on top of their game and ensure they develop their skill sets accordingly. Emerging skills include animation, video and games.
The good news is that we are seeing an increased demand for freelance eLearning skills. As we have said, there is little concrete data available on freelance eLearning trends, which is why we aim to share some regular insights into the market, according to the jobs and skills that are in demand onJam Pan.
At Jam Pan, we want talent to shine — that’s why skill tests, portfolio vetting, and every opportunity to showcase bright and motivated professionals is more than a priority — it’s built into our platform.
Jam Pan is an on Demand eLearning Services Platform, Connecting freelancers and agencies with business that need them. Find out more on How It Works and check out the current Opportunities on jam-pan.com. or drop us a line at Hello@Jam-Pan.com