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Best degrees for freelancing

freelancing
More professionals than ever before are striking out on their own in search of greater autonomy and flexible alternatives to traditional employment. Source: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP

Freelancing is the future. Have you ever thought about moving to a remote part of the country you live in — with the beach as your view and a pina colada in hand while you work?

The way we work is undergoing a transformation. As companies and employees quickly adapt to a fully remote work model in the wake of COVID-19, they’re learning to embrace the benefits of agile and distributed workforces. With this shift, now more than ever, professionals are striking out on their own in search of greater autonomy and flexible alternatives to traditional employment. 

There has been a dramatic shift in job postings on the site from permanent to temporary. Hayden Brown, the president and CEO of Upwork, said, “It’s no surprise that freelancing is on the rise, especially now that we have fully disentangled where we work from what we work on.” 

Julia Pollak, a labour economist with the job site ZipRecruiter says, “The percentage increases are alarmingly big.” In certain occupations, the shift to temporary or freelance workers are even more stark. “The share of temporary job postings in communications, for example, was only 12% prior to COVID,” Pollak says. By April last year, it was four times higher. 

If you want flexibility, independence and the freedom to work in cafes or beach bars instead of offices, here are three degrees to consider for a career in freelancing:

freelancing

The way we work is undergoing a transformation. Source: Oliver Morin / AFP

Graphic Design

Graphic designers work within print and digital based mediums to present information in ways that are both memorable and accessible. They are visual communicators — assembling illustrations, typography, images and motion graphics to create a piece of design.

This programme offers opportunities to collaborate with creatives from other disciplines with different skills to your own — you will gain a wider understanding of the creative, social and ethical context of contemporary visual culture. Specialisations are possible — choose from  typography, illustration, branding, packaging, animation, UIUX, digital design or environmental graphics. 

Creative Writing

Nurture your creative, critical and professional skills as a freelancing writer; gain a foundation in the main genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and be supported in finding your own voice — this is what a degree in this field offers. You’ll also be confident, skilled and adaptable in today’s creative industries — where writing and editing are essential skills, and so are creativity, communication, and critical thinking. 

From writing an independent creative project in your final year to exploring the psychological foundations of creativity, you will enhance your skills by engaging with a range of practical exercises. You will learn and practice modules such as writing poetry, short fiction, genre fiction and experimental writing. Both strict-form and free-verse writing is incorporated to develop your ear for voice, and eye for image. You will also explore the craft behind digital forms of writing, such as blogging.

Web Development

From traditional websites to the latest apps, you’ll learn the technologies and skills you need to succeed in this fast growing sector. This course builds your specialist knowledge in full stack design and development for websites and web applications, covering DevOps, database design, as well as modern tools. You’ll learn the key aspects of web development and programming, from front-end interactive design to back-end skeleton and database structures. 

At the same time, you will apply and develop your skills in HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP and User Experience (UX) through hands-on training in small classes. As an IT professional, you could be involved in developing business protocols and processes such as databases and back-up systems, as well as the computer applications to support these.