Freelancing On The Rise In Pakistan

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The pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused many businesses to shut down, and many people lost their jobs. However, for Pakistani youth, this was an excellent opportunity to stay home and earn money through the internet. Before, kids dreamt of having a corporate job where they would clock in 7 to 8 hours a day, slaving away for some corporate entity. Now times have changed, and computer-savvy youth are leveraging information communications technologies gifted by the 21st century to make a decent living. The best part is that all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection to find your way to a successful career path.

This boom in freelancing started in late 2018, with the internet becoming more widely available to the general population. Furthermore, there was a surge in people under 30 acquiring technically-oriented training and education. This helped them navigate the interweb and apply for freelancing jobs from all over the world. During Covid, more and more students began their journey to becoming a freelancer, as many had ample time just sitting at home with the whole country in lockdown. Other than freelancing, many individuals are involved in software houses that take up projects from international companies. Local application developers are a major driving force behind the IT companies and the growth of the computer software sector in Pakistan. Approximately 3,000 registered local companies are involved in various application development for domestic and corporate use.

Pakistan has been ranked as the fourth fastest-growing freelance market with a 47% growth in freelancing earnings. India, Bangladesh, and the United States held the top 3 spots. The main reason for this boom in freelancing is due to the large amount of the total population consisting of youngsters. Reportedly, 63% of the total population in Pakistan is below the age of 25 and has massive potential for freelancing.

The Pakistani government has realized the potential for freelancing and digital entrepreneurs. Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque launched a portal for online registration of freelancers. Registering yourself or your company can offer benefits and opportunities. In addition, the Pakistani government has introduced policies to encourage local and foreign investment in this sector and boost IT-related exports.

These steps encourage the youth to apply their skills and work harder. It is high time we aided our extremely talented youth to hone their IT skills and make a career out of it.

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Musa Qaiser
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