If a recent analysis of online jobs is on target, digital design experts will have a lot of reasons to celebrate 3D printers in 2013.
Innovative new 3D printers like MakerBot — coupled with a dip in prices for desktop 3D-printing devices — has those with 3D printing skills in demand. According to a new study by Freelancer, which looked at nearly 300,000 jobs in Q1 of 2013, the surge of interest in 3D printing made for a 21% increase in jobs for 3D modelers, a 13% hike for 3D renderers, and a 6% lift for 3D animators.
E-commerce was another big growth sector. IT-savvy professionals who could roll out secure shopping cart systems were in high demand, with an 18% increase in Q1 jobs.
"The underpinning tech that powers e-commerce is now mature, scalable, and cheap," said David Harrison, Vice President of Engineering at Freelancer. "You can set up a turn-key online store for as little as a couple hundred dollars and have all the features of a massive retailer like Amazon. This is enabling the massive growth of online retail as small businesses move online to sell to consumers around the globe."
There is also good news for coders, Android experts, and those skilled in operations support. Some highlights:
Core Web 2.0 Technologies: Employers' need for HTML5, CSS, PHP, and jQuery grew significantly in the first quarter. Jobs that focused on HTML5 were up 20%; CSS climbed 15%; PHP rose 9%; jQuery increased 7%; MySQL added 3%; and Wordpress went up 20%.
Android's Global Reach: The demand for online workers in this sector saw a 20% increase. Android making inroads in emerging markets is the reason for the rise, some experts say. By comparison, iPad and iPhone-related online jobs increased 11% in Q1.
Business Process Operations: Both front and back-office positions — from customer support to finance and accounting — are increasingly becoming the realm of online professionals. The first quarter saw a 113% increase in those supplying BPO services online.
What can the report tell us about the future?
“The demand in online jobs is the leading forward-indicator of the health of new technologies, products, companies and industries," said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive Officer at Freelancer.
If Barrie's analysis is correct, the future is certainly bright.