List of 13 Evergreen and upcoming technologies to consider for a freelancer who is looking for a stable and growing IT career online.
Information technology or IT covers a very vast area of expertise. So one has to narrow down which will depend on your past work experience, expertise or personal interest to choose the right field in IT.
If you wish to be a programmer, you can learn some of the upcoming programming languages. If you wish to be an online marketing person, you can learn SEO and social media marketing. If you wish to be a writer, you can learn to blog. So on and so forth. Everything is under the information technology hood and each of them can be niched down further and still everything will be under IT.
Still, I will share a mix of some of the evergreen technologies with upcoming technologies to list 13 of the best technologies to learn for a growing freelancing career online.
The first choice for any web programmer should be PHP though other web languages are gaining popularity still, PHP has 80% market share.
It is around since 1994 and its popularity increased many folds in 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg chose to code Facebook in PHP. Apart from FaceBook, PHP powers many CMSes including WordPress and Wikipedia.
Most CMSes are in PHP which can mean a lot more work for a PHP developer.
There are a small set of developers who don’t like PHP but there are developers who really like PHP for its simplicity. I am one of those who like PHP and recommends it to anyone who is willing to be a web developer as the first choice of programming language. It helps you understand the nitty gritty of programming for the web and one can always adopt the new and upcoming frameworks once the nitty gritty stuff is well discovered by the programmer.
PHP gained its popularity because of the success of Facebook and Python for Google. Google selected python for powering some of their projects which made the trend for using Python. It now powers sites like YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram (which is now owned by Facebook) etc.
Python does offer frameworks much similar to PHP frameworks but the options are limited. Django and Flask are two of the most popular Python frameworks.
Though some of the big sites are powered by Python, still as a freelancer, it lacks the popularity of being used at a mass scale because of very few out of the box option available for a full-fledged CMS.
3. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a powerful web programming being used by some of the big brands and websites like Apple, Twitter, Github, Airbnb, Groupon, Shopify etc.
Ruby is the programming language and Ruby on Rails is a web framework built on Ruby.
Comparing rails to PHP or Python is like comparing apples to oranges. PHP or Python are programming languages and CakePHP or Laravel are frameworks built in PHP. Ruby on Rails is a web framework for Ruby. The popularity of Ruby on rails is much higher than any PHP framework.
Unlike PHP, in ruby, you don’t have new frameworks and CMSes hitting the market often which makes it very stable and worth putting the effort to learn as a freelancer.
Though Nodejs can work without any external web server, Nginx server is used as a proxy server for the web.
Angularjs is still a client-side language but one can use Google’s firebase to make it work on the server side as well.
Mobile is the future and app development on Android is in Java.
Android has the largest mobile market share worldwide. So if you wish to be a freelancer in mobile app development, Java should be a choice of programming language.
8. Swift for iOS
Though C/C++ can be used for app development in iOS, Swift is the preferred choice of language for it.
Android has large market share worldwide but iOS is still a major player in the key markets like the US.
As a freelancer, iOS app developer can clock much better hourly rates than an Android app developer.
If you aren’t a programming guy, don’t worry because freelancing isn’t all about being a developer. Marketing on the Internet and especially search engine optimization is one of the highest paid freelancing skill.
As an SEO expert one has to deal in keyword research, on page optimization, off page activities but the most important of all is and will always be the keyword research. One can always work on the on-page and off-page activities but if you aren’t ranking well enough for a lot of keywords, SEO can be a tough nut to crack.
Apart from being an SEO expert, if a web developer can build traffic to websites, his or her services will always be in demand for at least couple of reasons. First as a consultant for SEO services and second he can build a website, do the SEO to build clients.
10. Social Media Marketing
Every business wants to grab the eye balls of potential customers on social media. Any business that isn’t on social media is often not considered as genuine business.
Creating the businesses presence on social media isn’t tough but getting it off the ground on it is becoming tougher with every passing minute.
Each social media platform needs a different kind of content. As a freelancer one can create content for the social media that can help connect businesses with its customer, there is no stopping to the freelancing career for sure.
Blogging is evergreen but the love for blogging is more important than anything else.
As a blogger, you have to put your head down and build the content for your blog over an elongated period of time before one can see some readers and traffic coming your way. It isn’t the case anymore where an article published with a typo can find tons of readers.
Every blogging niche is getting crowded. So one has to find a sub-niche in each niche and still be in it for the long-term and provide value to the reader to and build a credibility and trust with the readers.
If the content can connect with the potential readers, it is bound to get the traffic in the long run.
12. Database Administrator
A database is a basic need for any website. Though one can have various programming languages and CMSes or frameworks to build the front end, there aren’t many backend databases options available.
MySQL is the most popular database for websites. So for an online DBA freelancer, the choice is obvious but Oracle and SQL Servers are also good choices for being a DBA.
13. Web Design
Web design is over crowded space but if the design is something that interests you, you have to find a niche within web designing.
The orthodox web design niche will not help you make enough money to sustain a freelancing career. A niche can be within the web design space where the focus is only on a particular type of websites (eCommerce, business website), or particular kind of websites (WordPress, XenForo) or a combination of them can help.
Further Reading …