Freelancing: A Rising Career Path for Young Workers… Why? Featured

By Gamal Khattab January 08, 2024 1778



  • Global freelance economy has seen a surge, with 1.57 billion self-employed workers.
  • 7% of workers worldwide are currently freelancers, with the global freelance platform market worth $3.4 billion and expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2027.
  • Freelancers earn an average of $21 per hour, with higher earnings in web and mobile development, marketing, legal, accounting, or other skilled services.
  • Reasons for Freelancing's Rise include freedom and independence, increasing income, acquiring new skills, achieving work-life balance, and leading businesses.
  • Disadvantages include loss of regular employee benefits, fluctuating income, sole responsibility, self-marketing, and feelings of isolation.

What Makes Freelancing Different?

Have you ever wondered what sets freelancing apart from traditional jobs? Well, the freelance economy has been booming in recent years, especially after the Corona pandemic. In fact, there are about 1.57 billion self-employed workers worldwide out of a total global workforce of 3.38 billion people!

According to the World Bank, 46.7% of workers around the world are currently freelancers. Many of them find work on specialized freelance platforms like "Upwork," "Fiverr," and "Toptal." These platforms have become the go-to places for modern work activities.

The global freelance platform market is worth a whopping $3.4 billion, and it's expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2027. That's a lot of money!

On average, freelancers earn $21 per hour globally. But if you work in web and mobile development, marketing, legal, accounting, or other skilled services, you can earn even more—around $28 per hour. That's higher than 70% of all hourly wages in the United States!

So, why are so many people choosing freelancing over traditional jobs? Let's find out!

Reasons for the Rise of Freelancers

Did you know that nearly 70% of freelancers worldwide are 35 years old or younger? That's right! Young people, especially Generation Z (those between 16 and 26 years old), are increasingly drawn to self-employment.

But why is that? Let's explore the reasons:

  1. Searching for Freedom and Independence

The new generation has grown up in a connected world where information and opportunities are easily accessible. For them, freelancing offers more freedom and independence compared to traditional jobs. They can work from anywhere, at any time, and with anyone they want. This flexibility allows them to manage their schedule according to their needs and work on projects they care about.

  1. Increasing Income

In a world of inflation and economic instability, many young people see freelancing as a way to boost their income. Freelancers can earn more money than those in full-time jobs, leading to a more financially stable life. This is especially important for young people who are building their future.

  1. Acquiring New Skills

Freelancing offers an opportunity to learn new skills that may not be developed in a traditional job. Freelancers can work on different projects, gain new experiences, and collaborate with various clients, industries, and work environments. This means they can bring a wealth of skills to companies and businesses.

  1. Achieving Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is crucial for the younger generation. A study found that 71% of Generation Zers want flexible work hours, and 35% value a positive work environment. Freelancing allows them to achieve a better work-life balance, which is essential for their well-being.

  1. Leading Businesses

Surprisingly, one in every four Generation Z youth intends to start their own business. This ambition to become an entrepreneur represents a major shift from the traditional career paths of previous generations. Many young people are now exploring their passions, interests, and hobbies to create a career that aligns with their values and goals. As freelancers, they have the opportunity to develop their own business and work on projects they love.

Disadvantages of Freelancing

While freelancing offers many advantages, it's important to consider the downsides as well. Here are some of the challenges freelancers face:

  1. Loss of Regular Employee Benefits

Unlike regular employees, freelancers don't receive benefits like health insurance, paid holidays, retirement contributions, and free training opportunities. They are responsible for covering these costs on their own.

  1. Fluctuating Income

Freelancers don't have a fixed income or regular salary. Their income can fluctuate depending on the availability of projects. This requires them to learn how to manage their expenses and budget effectively.

  1. Sole Responsibility

As a freelancer, you are responsible for everything. You have to pay your bills, create a work schedule, and set your own hours. Freelancers must learn to set boundaries and manage their time without anyone telling them what to do. This can be challenging, especially for newcomers.

  1. Self-Marketing

Freelancers need to learn how to market themselves to find new projects and clients. It can feel like a constant job search, and facing rejection can be exhausting. However, effective self-marketing is crucial for success as a freelancer.

  1. Feeling Isolated

Working from home and collaborating with clients worldwide is great, but it can also lead to feelings of isolation. Freelancers must be mindful of staying connected to their communities and engaging in social activities to avoid loneliness.

Freelancing offers exciting opportunities for young workers, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before diving in. With the right mindset and preparation, freelancing can be a rewarding career path!