The ranks of the UK’s professional contracting community look likely to be boosted by an influx of top-performing university graduates, according to a new poll of 1,000 UK graduates by online freelance jobs platform Elance.
87% of students with first or second class degrees consider freelancing as a lucrative and highly attractive career option, with 77% of those holding lower-class degrees in agreement.
The flexibility of ‘gigging’ as Umbrella Company Employees or freelance professionals – working freelance for multiple firms – was cited by 69% of the respondents as the biggest draw, while 38% said that the earning potential of freelancing was the biggest attraction. The same number were attracted to the variety of work, while 28% liked the idea of being their own bosses while earning as much or more than they would in a traditional job.
Elance’s Europe vice-president, Kjetil Olsen, said that while Generation X had faced the issue of the end of the job for life, Generation Y is “seriously questioning the nature of having a traditional job at all”. Aware that employers across the world are sourcing freelance talent through online work platforms, today’s high-flying graduates believe they can achieve lucrative careers by working independently.
Mr Olsen continued: “The research has far-reaching implications for employers. It’s clear that if they want access to some of the UK’s top graduates, they will increasingly need to tap into the freelance talent pool. Many are doing this already, but those that aren’t should consider putting in place processes for complementing their permanent staff with additional skilled independent workers.”