In-Demand Skills That Can Boost Your Paycheck and Why It Matters for Businesses

Upwork just conducted research to identify and analyze the most in-demand skills for 2024. The research involves freelancers who are using AI technology, that is, generative AI that generates higher earnings with more complex work, which makes it produce a high value of work by leveraging a new set of skills.

So, what are the skills that employers are looking for but have a higher income? The skills that are in demand and the fastest-growing skills, based on the Upwork report for 2024, include:

Data Science & Analytics

  • Generative AI Modeling
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Analytics

Coding & Web Development

  • Scripting & Automation
  • Database Development
  • Web Design

Sales & Marketing

  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales & Business Development
  • Email Marketing

Accounting & Consulting

  • Personal Coaching
  • Financial Management/CFO
  • Bookkeeping

Customer Service & Admin Support

  • Business Project Management
  • Medical Virtual Assistance
  • Supply Chain & Logistics Project Management

Design & Creative

  • Packaging Design
  • Music Production
  • Videography

Another additional insight from Upwork is that:

  • AI skills such as scripting, automation, and database development are important for developers. Also, skills related to data organization, cleaning, and classification are deemed crucial for preparing AI models for learning processes.
  • Due to a surge in demand for generative AI modeling and machine learning skills, there is a high demand for data science and analytical skills.
  • Upwork sees a remarkable surge in virtual assistance and a diverse range of project management skills such as business, supply chain & logistics, and development and IT. Hence, project management is now more valuable.

While some may assume that generative AI is replacing these vital skills, it has been revealed that with generative AI streamlining repetitive tasks, it empowers project managers and assistants to tackle more complex challenges.

What does that mean for businesses?

Businesses that are leveraging generative AI are in favorable positions. The reasons for this are that generative AI is beneficial in boosting productivity, efficiency, and quality of output.

With the growing demand for AI skills, this means that businesses investing in generative AI technology are aligning themselves with the evolving demands of the market.

Knowing which AI tools to leverage for improvement

By using the information from the growing demand for skills, employers could easily find ways to automate workflows that are meant to be automated these days. For example, those related to AI, data science, and automation, to identify areas of their workflow that could potentially be automated or optimized using these skills. By understanding the skills that are increasingly in demand, businesses can assess their current processes and identify opportunities for improvement through automation or by leveraging new technologies.

For example, if there is a growing demand for AI-related skills such as scripting, automation, and data analytics, businesses can evaluate whether certain repetitive tasks or data analysis processes within their workflow can be automated using AI tools. This can lead to increased efficiency, and reduce cost savings for the organization.

While automation can streamline certain processes, it’s not always suitable for every task or workflow. Employers should carefully assess the impact of automation on their operations, considering factors such as the complexity of tasks, the potential impact on employee roles, and overall business objectives. This is to ensure it enhances productivity and really adds value to the organization.

More skilled professionals are available

As these generative AI tools become more popular, there are more people who have become skilled at using them effectively. These skilled professionals could help businesses solve problems, complete tasks faster, and create better outcomes.

Because there are more skilled professionals who know how to use generative AI tools, businesses using platforms like Upwork have easier access to these experts. They can find people who specialize in using AI for specific tasks or industries, which can be incredibly helpful for businesses looking to improve their operations or innovate in their field.


The research conducted by Upwork for 2024 highlights the increasing demand for skills related to Generative AI, such as scripting, automation, and data analytics. These skills are not only driving higher earnings for freelancers but are also reshaping the job market by emphasizing the importance of specialized expertise in areas like Data Science & Analytics, Coding & Web Development, Sales & Marketing, Accounting & Consulting, Customer Service & Admin Support, and Design & Creative.

Businesses leveraging Generative AI technology stand to benefit from improved productivity, efficiency, and output quality. By understanding and investing in these in-demand skills, businesses can align themselves with market trends, optimize workflows through automation, and access a pool of skilled professionals proficient in AI tools to drive innovation and success in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

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