How specialized skills can make you a superstar in gig work

As the job market evolves, expertise in niche areas is sought after, allowing individuals to command better compensation while enjoying flexibility. (iStockphoto)
As the job market evolves, expertise in niche areas is sought after, allowing individuals to command better compensation while enjoying flexibility. (iStockphoto)


More firms are looking for gig workers who can offer specific expertise related to green tech and artificial intelligence

The gig economy is rapidly transforming the workforce landscape in the country. At present, India’s gig workforce comprises 15 million workers employed across industries, such as software, shared services and professional services. The number will reach 23.5 million by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%, driven by the demand for remote work, according to a recent Nasscom Aon report. Gig workers will make for over 4% of the total workforce within the next six years, the report adds.

One of the reasons people are moving towards gig work, or income-earning activities outside the traditional, long-term employer-employee relationships, is the prevalence of dry promotions—title and designation promotions without corresponding salary increases.

Such promotions often leave employees feeling undervalued, prompting them to seek better opportunities where their skills are adequately rewarded.

Also read: Paaduks founder Amit Jain on prioritizing depth and focus over brevity

The gig economy offers this with greater flexibility, higher earning potential, and diverse experiences—things today’s professionals are increasingly looking for, more so after covid.

For these ambitious, independent professionals the traditional model of climbing the corporate ladder is losing its lustre, with annual appraisals often resulting in small salary increases and symbolic promotions. Coupled with increasing attrition rates across industries, the growing dissatisfaction is evident. Many professionals feel their skills are undervalued, driving them towards freelancing where specialised skills and domain expertise are better valued.

The shift from conventional jobs to freelance gigs is also driven by the emergence of specialised skills, making them a key enabler for professionals to advance their career. As the job market evolves, expertise in niche areas is becoming highly sought after, allowing individuals to stand out and command better compensation.

Also read: Creating inclusive workplaces: addressing microaggressions effectively

Skills in areas such as software development, digital marketing, and data analysis, among others, empower professionals to become freelancers. They can leverage their subject matter expertise to secure projects, set competitive rates, and align their work with personal interests and career goals.

When it comes to organisations, embracing gig economy allows them to access a global pool of specialised talent, often at a lower cost than hiring full-time employees. It increases their agility and flexibility, allowing them to quickly adapt to changing market demands and scale their operations with greater efficiency.

In case you want to be part of the gig economy, here are some specialised in-demand skills.


Digital leadership is an integral part of the modern corporate landscape, to successfully navigate challenges. Leaders today need a deep understanding of technology, data analytics, and the ability to guide teams through the technological minefield. Digital leaders have a vision for the future with which they foster a culture of innovation to drive strategic change.


Specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) means developing advanced algorithms and models to solve complex problems. This skill encompasses data analysis, predictive modelling, and deep learning techniques.

AI/ML specialists enhance decision-making, automate processes, and create systems that adapt and improve over time.


Defence engineering involves the design, production, and testing of military equipment and systems. This includes knowledge of advanced materials, precision engineering, and compliance with stringent safety and quality standards. Professionals in this field contribute to national security by developing innovative solutions for defence applications.

Also read: How to deal with loneliness at work

Green tech

Proficiency in electric vehicles and green technology encompasses the development, maintenance and advancement of sustainable transportation and energy solutions. This includes expertise in battery technology, renewable energy sources, and environmental impact reduction. Specialists in this area drive the transition to a greener future by creating efficient and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional technologies.

Mayank Kumar is co-founder and managing director of upGrad.

Write to us at

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.