These are the 20 hottest job skills companies are looking for right now

Stephane Kasriel, Upwork CEO
Key Points
  • Today Upwork has released its newest quarterly index of the 20 hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market.
  • The Upwork Skills Index sheds light on new and emerging skills — from podcasting to robotic process automation.
  • These skills experienced more than 170% year-over-year growth.
  • Ongoing communication between companies and learning platforms such as Udemy and Coursera is key so courses continuously evolve to meet the skills demand.
Gunnar Pippel | Getty Images

On Tuesday Upwork released its newest quarterly index of the 20 hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market. The Upwork Skills Index sheds light on new and emerging skills and provides real-time validation of current trends in the labor market and tech industry. These skills experienced more than 170% year-over-year growth, while demand for the top 10 skills grew more than 370% year-over-year.

Access to skills and talent scarcity are the biggest hiring challenges. So it's no surprise, then, that as today's skills continuously become obsolete due to rapid technological advances, those who embrace continuous learning will find the most success in the new economy.

According to a recent report, one-third of younger-generation managers believe that individuals should be responsible for their own reskilling, as opposed to the employer or educational institutions.

Those who embrace continuous learning will find the most success in the new economy.

So that leaves workers guessing: Which skills are most in demand? Where can I learn these new skills? Are the online learning platforms up to speed on what skills companies are looking for? And finally, what is the best course to take to gain these highly sought-after skills?

Fortunately, digital freelance platforms are playing a more prominent role in professionals' ability to navigate these changes by aligning themselves with online learning platforms such as Coursera and Udemy. By providing real-time data on emerging trends and the most-sought-after skills in the current job market, these learning platforms can develop courses geared to meet the demand.

Below is Upwork's latest quarterly Upwork Skills Index, along with the relevant online courses from online learning platforms, including Coursera,, PluralSight, Skillshare and Udemy, for the top 20 fastest-growing skills on Upwork in Q1 2019.

The top 20 fastest-growing skills, Q1 2019

  1. U.S. Taxation
  2. Hadoop
  3. Robotic process automation
  4. Explainer videos
  5. Computer aided manufacturing
  6. Financial planning
  7. Urban design
  8. Software documentation
  9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  10. Geospatial
  11. Julia development
  12. Kubernetes
  13. Magento
  14. Employee training
  15. Shopify templates
  16. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  17. Vue.js framework
  18. Leadership development
  19. Architectural rendering
  20. Podcasting

Relevant online courses to meet the skills demand

  1. US Taxation: U.S. Federal Taxation Specialization (Coursera)
  2. Hadoop: Hadoop Platform and Application Framework (Coursera)
  3. Robotic process automation: UiPath - Level 1 Robotic Process Automation (Udemy)
  4. Explainer videos: Create Your Own Explainer Video: How To Craft The Perfect Pitch! (Skillshare)
  5. Computer aided manufacturing: CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization (Coursera)
  6. Financial planning: Financial Planning & Management: Finance Strategies & Tools (Udemy)
  7. Urban design: Designing Cities (Coursera)
  8. Software documentation: Technical Writing: How to Write Software Documentation (Udemy)
  9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Salesforce Commerce Cloud ( Demandware ) Head Start (Udemy)
  10. Geospatial: Getting Started with GIS (Skillshare)
  11. Julia development: Julia Scientific Programming (Coursera)
  12. Kubernetes: Learn DevOps: The Complete Kubernetes Course (Udemy)
  13. Magento: Getting Started with Magento (Udemy)
  14. Employee training: e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age (Coursera)
  15. Shopify templates: Build a Shopify Theme From Scratch (Udemy)
  16. Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Accounting 101 - Basic Accounting Concepts Explained (Skillshare)
  17. Vue.js framework: Vue.js Fundamentals (Pluralsight)
  18. Leadership development: Personal Leadership Development Planning and Leading High Performing Teams (Coursera)
  19. Architectural rendering: Rendering Impressive Architectural Interiors in 3ds Max and V-Ray (Pluralsight)
  20. Podcasting: How to Make a Podcast: Plan, Record, and Launch with Success (Skillshare) offers information on the online courses, is guiding a new, more effective approach to learning and development by enabling workers to reskill on an ongoing basis.

For more on tech, transformation and the future of work, join CNBC at @ Work: Human Capital + Finance Summit in Chicago on July 19.