Study: Almost 50% of people in technology are planning a career change

Freelancers and gig workers, unite: according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.5 million American workers are in “contingent” employment arrangements – everyone from the self-employed to eBay sellers to Uber drivers.

The Future of Work: Exploring the State of Freelancing and Remote Work, by Porch, a network for homeowners and home professionals, asked over 1,000 employees and 291 employers about future changes in their respective industries when it came to remote and freelance work.

Switching up careers

Whether they’re freelancing or not, nearly half of millennials (46.3%) plan on working in a different industry within the next 10 years.

The top industries where people plan on changing careers in the next 10 years are:

  • Hotel, food services, and hospitality (57.4%)
  • Wholesale and retail (55.3%)
  • Technology (47.2%).

The first two industries where people of all ages plan on changing industries are sectors where scheduling and work hours are notoriously unpredictable. But the third, tech – known for its perks a generous pay – was unexpected. That said, people are just now beginning to talk about burnout in the tech industry.

The steadiest careers were finance (only 33.3% anticipate a change), government and public administration (34.2%), and education (37.1%).

The future is both freelance and remote

Some fields were predicted to turn freelance more rapidly than others over the next 10 years.

  • In marketing and advertising – currently made up of 33% freelancers – workers in the field estimated it would grow by 15.6%.
  • In tech, which is currently made up of 31% freelancers, workers in the field predicted a 13.5% growth. As a cautionary tale, consider Google, whose contract workers now outnumber their salaried workers and are now demanding the same pay, sick time, and other perks that regular employees get.
  • Information services and data processing, currently made up of 40% freelancers, was predicted to increase freelancers by 10.7%.
  • This growth applies to blue-collar work as well. Construction, currently 28.5% freelance, is predicted to increase its freelance workers by 8%.

Work is trending towards more industries relying on more freelance workers, and and the study demonstrated, more industries are allowing remote workers. What can feel like newfound freedom for employees is also a mixed bag, especially when it comes to healthcare – or if you have a tiny apartment.

Nevertheless, expect this debate to continue: Employers are deciding how much salaried, insured staff they really need, and both employees and employers are evaluating whether or not they need to be in an office to do their jobs.

See you at the coffee shop!