More university students believe becoming a freelancer after graduation is a positive career choice, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by freelance broker Elance, was given to 1,032 university graduates. The survey found, “83 percent of Millennials state that working independently or freelancing is a cornerstone of their career strategy,” according to the broker’s website.
Freelancing careers involve offering goods or services independently instead of through a company. Businesses looking to hire a freelancer can use their services for a specific project or as many times as wanted.
As the Internet has changed the exchange of goods and services, freelancing careers are becoming a more prevalent option for student graduates.
Michael Knight, a finance major planning on graduating this spring, has considered becoming a freelance Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
“The benefit of being an RIA is that you will have much more autonomy,” Knight said. “You will be able to earn fees that otherwise would go to a larger corporation or a number of other individuals. As a RIA, you also have less pressure when it comes to offering clients what is best for them, as opposed to what will earn the advisor or company the most money.”
Freelance careers can open doors and offer opportunities to students that otherwise might not be available. Freelancers can work with multiple clients at the same time and choose the different industries in which they want to work. They decide their own schedule and workload.
Another popular choice for freelancers is marketing. Freelance marketers have the opportunity to be hired by companies or corporations as independent contractors and can prepare specific marketing material or needs to their clients.
Mckenna Revoy, a marketing major at BYU, shares some of the characteristics one must have to be successful as a freelance marketer.
“I do think that you need to have the right personality to be a freelance marketer. You have to be very self motivated, and your degree of diligence really determines how successful you can be,” Revoy said.
Revoy plans on working in the fashion industry for a few years before starting her own clothing line.
Freelancers have the flexibility that is commonly looked for in a career. Students, however, should be aware of the work it takes to market themselves. If freelancers are not proactive in making their services available to the public, business could be slow.
“My dad is an RIA and has been fairly successful,” Knight said. “However, that has come with a lot of stress and uncertainty, as he has had to build his clientele and provide them with a service that they can’t get elsewhere.”
Where freelancing careers can be beneficial and may cater to recent graduates’ needs, working for a corporation for a few years before entering the world field as a freelancer may be something that can benefit a career.
Accounting falls under popular freelance career options because accountants have the necessary skills to perform annual tax returns. As accountants gain more clients, it can lead to them opening up their own audit or tax firms.
Thomas Lang, an accounting major, is following in his father’s footsteps. His father was also an accounting major and worked for one of the major public accounting firms before opening his own firm.
“My dad works for himself, and his biggest clients are referred to him from friends he made while working (there),” Lang said. “The skills he learned to be a good accountant, he learned while working at the big firms as well.”
Freelancing can be a bright career choice for students as more connections are made through the Internet. By understanding the risks and benefits involved in becoming a freelancer, students can more easily know what they want to do with their degrees after graduation.