Study: 1 In 2 Professionals Will Be Independent Contractors By 2020

July 24, 2014

April 2014, the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University, partnered with MBO Partners, to conduct The Future of Work: Preparing for Independence – a survey designed to identify the traits of successful contract workers in the United States.

MBO Partners projects that 1 in 2 American workers will either move to independent work, or spend at least part of their working hours as self-employed professionals by 2020. The study showed some very good reasons why more of us might want to ditch being employees and embrace becoming businesses-of-one. Here are a few:

  • Independent contractors average pay is $87,000+/year - Granted, they must pay their own taxes and health benefits, but many of those surveyed also don’t work full-time hours. Which means, the pay rate is better than their full-time employee counterparts.
  • Contract work is more desirable - Career goals for contemporary professionals are changing and many are choosing self-employment in order to control the type of work assignments they pursue (67 percent), to have a greater sense of flexibility and work-life balance (64 percent), and to follow a passion (59 percent).
  • More seasoned workers can leverage their experience better The majority of contract workers surveyed were 35+ and had taken the skills they built while working full-time to enable them to market them independently – and at a higher rate.

To read the full article by J.T. O’Donnell, visit