Why it’s time to hire yourself.

Undergrads need not apply.

Perhaps you’ve seen the requirement for a college degree nearly every job post you’ve looked at recently.

Consider just this one statistic from LinkedIn:

  • 65% of new LinkedIn job postings for executive secretaries and executive assistants now call for a bachelor’s degree, however “only 19% of those currently employed in these roles have a B.A.

Further consider this startling figure from 100people.org – If the entire world were represented as 100 people, only 7 of them possess a college degree.

See the infographic here: http://visual.ly/if-world-were-100-people and the original article here: http://www.100people.org/statistics_100stats.php?section=statistics

So, if you could marry those stats together – there would be 58 people needed and not available.

Of course the comparison is a bit faulty. The 100 people from  the 100people.org study are spread across the globe, while the job postings for executive secretaries/assistants could be be distributed disproportionately among various geographies.

However, the idea that there are not enough people who meet the typically stringent job post requirements has merit and resonance.

Where did all the talent go?

What will recruiters do when they can’t find the talent to fit increasingly specific job requirements for roles they need to fill?

My best guess is that they’ll source freelancers for contract work.

A simple query for the key word “freelance” against the Indeed database produced more than 5k results on 12/03/2016. Further, a recent Forbes magazine article reports that freelancers make up 34% of the U.S. workforce.

LinkedIn also demonstrates growth of the freelancing trend in this infographic:

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  • As the number of freelance positions continues to grow, the freelance economy will obviously remain a hot discussion topic in 2016. Source: LinkedIn Blog

Small Business Trends.com projects:

And why?

Is this growth due to lower barrier to entry? Even when a college degree may be stated as required – a contract job’s actual requirements may be more flexible.

Consider this“Jonny Steel, vice president of marketing at Payoneer, said one of the most surprising data points uncovered by the survey was that freelancers with a college degree typically earn $20 an hour, less than the $22 an hour earned by those whose highest education level is high school. This, he said, suggests that companies who hire freelancers favor experience and client reviews over formal education.” (Quote from Brazen.com; Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey, page 10)

And while being a freelancer might not feel like the most secure career choice, freelancers can do quite well:  “…the average freelancer works 36 hours a week at a rate of $21 per hour, giving them an annual pretax salary of more than $39,000.” (Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey)

Hire yourself, if you possibly can.

Beyond the consideration of better opportunities for those whose education has been less traditional, freelancing offers these possible benefits:

  • More flexible work schedule
  • Shorter or no commute time
  • Location independence — work from where you are
  • Create your preferred work environment
  • Learn what and when you want to and use that knowledge to grow your own business
  • Do the work you want to do
  • Choose your preferred technology/tools
  • Rely less on a single income source and have ability to increase your rates
  • Experience less frustration from bureaucracy

Freelancing is not without risk. For some (or most), it may be better to approach it in stages. But if you are tired of fighting to get traditional employers to understand what you have to offer, and if you have the courage and fortitude to strike out on your own — this might just be the perfect time to hire the best employee everyou.

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