When setting out into the freelance world, it can be confusing working out what qualifications you need, as there’s no fixed or official process to getting work!
The quick answer to the question above is no, you do not need a degree to be a freelancer. Of course, it’s more nuanced than that, so in this article, we go into a little more detail.
We wanted to know with a little more precision how many freelancers had a university education, so we decided to conduct a poll on Twitter.
The results were perhaps somewhat surprising; we found that around 38% of freelancers who were polled had a degree from a university. This shows that not only is it possible to be a freelancer without a degree, those with degrees are actually in the minority!
The hardest part about starting out as a freelancer is without doubt finding work, whether or not you have a degree. Luckily, there are several very popular online platforms that help connect freelancers with new clients.
The three most popular options are Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr; by using one or all of these, you have a strong chance of getting off to a good start in your chosen industry.
The number of services offered on these platforms is staggering; you can find musicians who can write you a catchy theme tune to your new TV series, writers with incredible insights into their specific sectors, and graffiti artists turned graphic designers who can whip up the most eye-catching brand logos.
If you have a skill, the chances are you can find someone who wants to hire you on one of these platforms.
The common denominator among all of these people is that they’re good at something – while you don’t need a degree to freelance, you do need to be able to provide a service or product at a high level in order to make money from it.
Potential clients will rarely ask to see your degree or qualifications, but they will almost always want to see a portfolio of prior work to give some insight into what you’ll be providing them with.
It’s a good idea to develop some sort of organised portfolio of your work before you join up to one of these sites.
This might take some time and effort, but there’s really no alternative – you might get lucky, but the chances are you’ll need to show something of what you’re capable of.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be a website (although a website does lend you an air of legitimacy) – it can simply be a google doc with a few choice samples! Once you have a portfolio, you’re ready to start looking for clients. Good luck – it can be hard work, but it’s 100% worth it in the end.