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Mobile industry offers recession-proof jobs: Elance

In a year when the economy has been described as something between ?stagnant? and ?rock bottom,? several employment categories proved to be recession-proof, with the mobile industry leading the pack.

That is according to online employment platform Elance?s 2010 Year in Review, which revealed record growth in online hiring, showcased the top skill trends in 2010 and previewed work trends to expect in 2011.

The Elance 2010 Year in Review showed that a growing segment of the labor market looked beyond traditional onsite jobs and traded stressful commutes and office politics for home offices and online employment, especially jobs related to application development.

Mobile Marketer?s Dan Butcher interviewed Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance, San Francisco. Here is what he had to say:

What are the key findings of Elance?s study related to mobile?
In 2010, demand for mobile developers on Elance across all platforms?Apple?s iOS, Google?s Android, Research In Motion?s BlackBerry and Microsoft?s Windows Phone 7?grew 98 percent, a result of unprecedented smartphone adoption rates and the introduction of new mobile devices and form factors like the iPad and the Chromebook.

Elance saw the largest growth in demand year-over-year for Android programmers?265 percent?and Apple iOS developers?262 percent?with the number of mobile development jobs posted on Elance doubling to more than 11,000.

Where are the most job opportunities in the mobile space?
The market share leaders dominated the mobile category?more jobs require Android programming and iPhone development skills than BlackBerry, Nokia?s Symbian, Windows Mobile and all other mobile platforms combined.

Qualified Apple iOS and Google Android programmers are amongst the most sought-after professionals on Elance today.

While we see a wide variety of mobile work done on our platform, a couple of mobile growth areas stand-out and will continue into 2011.

Jobs requiring the redesign of existing Web sites for one or more mobile browsers?examples include interface simplification and enablement of touch interaction?are a growing trend.

Also, jobs requiring the development of mobile games [are more prevalent].

Apple has had huge success with its iPad and iPhone platforms for mobile gaming, and Google appears to be following suit by focusing heavily on mobile gaming with its Android 2.3) update, codenamed Gingerbread.

And geolocation was also a hot topic in 2010, with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and even Groupon deploying location-based services to customers.

And there is evidence that while native application development will continue to grow, more businesses are adopting universal mobile strategies that can work across multiple devices such as native mobile shells combined with generic HTML5 and universal frameworks such as Sencha and Rhomobile.

Are jobs in mobile technology development recession-proof?
The introduction and rapid growth of smartphones and mobile devices has created a shockwave that can be felt across industries.

Analysts predict that smartphones will outsell PCs by the end of 2012, and the rise in tablet devices for personal and enterprise use, which started with Apple?s iPad, will continue to grow with a full slate of Android-powered tablets coming to market in 2011.

Microsoft has now jumped into the fold with Windows Phone 7, and former market leader Research In Motion has made several acquisitions in 2010 hoping to curb Apple and Google?s momentum in the mobile space. 

Startups and established businesses across industries are looking to develop new products and services across these new devices to improve engagement with existing customers and reach new ones.

This translates into increased demand for skilled mobile developers across multiple platforms, providing incredible employment opportunities despite the current state of the global economy.

With an online employment platform like Elance where more than 1,600 new jobs are posted every day, programmers can watch out for the next hot category, keep their skills up-to-date and focus their efforts where the jobs are.

A great example of someone experiencing recession-proof jobs on Elance is iPhone programmer Bruce Milliorn.

Mr. Milliorn is a financial advisor by day and an iPhone programmer by night. Today his mobile applications have enjoyed a half-million downloads and provide the equivalent of a full-time salary.

What opportunities will be created in 2011 with the ever-increasing importance of mobile, social and search for marketers?
Cutting-edge marketers who leverage mobile, social and search channels for growth will see many innovative new ways to market and will be challenged by how to best invest their marketing budgets in 2011.

On Elance, we see social and interactive marketing eclipsing traditional marketing in 2011.

Marketing budgets will be atomized and spread across a multitude of experiments ranging from display and retargeting to mobile marketing and social buying.

For marketers, these represent important new ways to acquire customers and engage with existing ones.

Marketers who come up with innovative ways to engage customers will thrive in 2011.

Final Take
Elance: 24 Hours in Online Employment