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Crowdsourcing as a career trend: Are online workers the new contingent workforce

Organizational trends towards outsourcing and contingent workers have redefined our current views towards careers. Organizations that are seeking a cost efficient and simple process to complete specified tasks are benefiting from utilizing crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing also proves to be a beneficial option for employees interested in a contingent-employee position. Online marketplaces where organizations post tasks for workers to complete on a pay-per-task basis give workers the flexibility to select the tasks they want to complete and complete them from anywhere in the world. Results from an international survey of 404 knowledge workers participating in crowdsourcing activities help to form an understanding of some of the current perceptions and future trends in crowdsourcing. Findings from the survey are discussed within the context of traditional and protean careers. The practice of utilizing these online marketplaces, and the benefits and costs associated with doing so, are also discussed from the employer and employee perspective.