What is a digital nomad?

Digital nomad jobs span web development, education, and entrepreneurship. They offer flexibility while building a lucrative career or personal business.
Written by Matthew Sweeney, Contributing Writer

If you have ever wanted to balance work and freedom, digital nomad jobs may be calling you. A digital nomad is a remote worker who travels while working remotely.

Digital nomads have multiplied in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic led to more remote work and many companies becoming remote-first or completely remote. People who want more out of their remote career — and whose jobs don't require a fixed location — often embrace the digital nomad lifestyle. 

Digital nomads may move to another country or state and stay there for weeks or months, or they may hop locations every couple of weeks. People follow this lifestyle in many ways. 

Read on to learn more about where and how to find digital nomad jobs and what they can offer you.

Types of digital nomad jobs

Digital nomads are just one type of remote worker. Remote workers do their work via computer telecommuting rather than in an office. Some are full-time employees, while others work as freelancers or business owners.

Full-time remote employees work a conventional set number of hours weekly from the convenience of their computer, enjoying benefits, vacation time, and set wages. 

Remote freelancers are contracted by one or more companies and work a variable number of hours. Personal business owners work for themselves, setting their own schedules.

Remote workers are common in industries such as:

  • Software development
  • Digital marketing
  • IT services
  • Education

One way to become a digital nomad is by getting the training and education to work in these industries.

Best careers for digital nomads

Digital nomad jobs encompass a variety of industries, with the majority in tech, education, and digital marketing. Digital nomads need strong written and verbal communication skills, plus the ability to self-motivate and work independently.

The following careers pair well with the digital nomad lifestyle.

Computer programmer

Minimum degree required: High school diploma
Alternate job titles: Programmer analyst, applications programmer, software tester
Good fit for: 

  • Workers with a strong knowledge of multiple coding languages, such as Java, C++, and Python
  • Detail-oriented thinkers who like analyzing and using problem-solving skills
  • People who enjoy working on their own for extended periods

Computer programmers write code for computer applications and software, working closely with software engineers to ensure computer applications function properly. Compared to earning a computer science degree, coding bootcamps are a quicker path to finding entry-level work as a computer programmer.

Web developer

Minimum degree required: High school diploma
Alternate job titles: Front-end development, back-end development, full-stack development
Good fit for: 

  • Workers with a background in one or more programming languages, such as Python, Java, and C++
  • Analytical thinkers who enjoy creatively solving problems
  • People who enjoy having a flexible schedule and can self-motivate

Web developers create websites and web-based applications. These coders can specialize in areas including cloud technology, back-end development, and mobile app development. You can become a web developer by earning a web development degree or completing a full-stack web development bootcamp.

Software engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Software developer, software quality assurance analyst, application developer
Good fit for: 

  • Coders with a "big picture" outlook 
  • Coders interested in conceptualizing projects and building them from the ground up
  • Workers capable of both working independently and as the director of a team
  • Programmers with a top-level command of Java, C++, and Python

Software engineers design and build computer applications for a variety of industries. You can become a software engineer by earning a bachelor's in computer science or software engineering. Compared with web developers, software engineers make higher wages and need a stronger computer science background.


Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Instructional designer, adjunct faculty, private tutor
Good fit for: 

  • People who enjoy helping others and seeing them learn
  • Workers with strong communication skills and patience
  • Adaptable workers who can change a lesson's focus based on individual learner's needs

Teachers help children, young adults, and adults develop their knowledge. While most teachers work in a single school system in a set area of expertise, teachers can work remotely as digital nomads, often teaching English online to ESL students.

Digital marketer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Digital marketing manager, digital strategist, director of online marketing
Good fit for: 

  • Detail-oriented, highly self-motivated workers who enjoy editing and refining copy
  • Workers with strong written and verbal communication skills
  • People who like following trends in new media

Digital marketers market products or services using social media and websites. These workers can expect to work over 40 hours a week writing marketing copy, researching market trends, and gauging consumer engagement with online campaigns. You can become a digital marketer by earning a marketing degree.


Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Small business owner, startup founder, independent business owner
Good fit for: 

  • Highly-driven and charismatic business professionals who want to grow their own company or enterprise
  • Workers with strong soft skills, especially in written and verbal communication
  • Workers with good hard skills in organizational behavior, finance, and project management

Entrepreneurs create their own opportunities for success by starting up their own businesses and enterprises. This is a high-risk job for driven and self-motivated individuals with good management and finance skills. Most entrepreneurs hold a business bachelor's, an entrepreneurship degree, or an MBA.


Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Author, freelance writer, nonfiction writer
Good fit for: 

  • People with top-level written and verbal communication skills 
  • Avid readers
  • Self-motivated workers comfortable with working on their own for extended periods
  • Writers who can adapt to multiple writing styles for different media

Writers create different kinds of written content for diverse forms of media, oftentimes on the internet. Many writers work remotely in the age of blogposts, self-published novels, and online magazines. Digital nomads might find writing a niche travel blog apt to their way of life.

Graphic designer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor's
Alternate job titles: Graphic artist, designer, fashioner
Good fit for: 

  • People with strong illustration skills and a good compositional sense
  • People interested in advertising and various forms of visual media
  • Workers who are flexible to different work environments, deadline expectations, and aesthetics

Graphic designers create visuals used in advertisements and other media. Companies from television to nonprofit work employ graphic designers. Many graphic designers work remotely, serving clients around the world.

Freelance digital nomad jobs

Many digital nomads work as freelancers to enjoy even greater independence. Freelancing digital nomads tend to work in the digital marketing, web development, and IT services industries, where employers may prefer freelancers to full-time employees. 

Freelancers typically find work on online job boards, such as:

  • UpWork
  • Fiverr
  • We Work Remotely
  • Indeed

Working as a contractor rather than a full-time telecommuting employee offers digital nomads advantages including: 

  • Flexibility and workload control
  • Freedom to choose projects and clients
  • Ability to create a personal brand

However, the increased freedom of contracting work comes with drawbacks. Digital nomads working as freelancers may struggle with:

  • Lack of benefits, such as health insurance
  • Inconsistent/seasonal work
  • Needing to self-motivate and self-promote to get work
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