It’s projected that by 2020, 50% of American workers will either move to independent work, or spend at least part of their working hours as self-employed professionals.

So the question is, why are so many people declaring themselves independents?

A new study by the Career Advisory Board at DeVry University and MBO Partners may have found an answer.

According to the study, the top reason that people choose self-employment is the control it provides over the type of assignments they get to work on.

The second most popular reason for going independent was respondents’ personal income earning potential, followed by work/life balance and schedule flexibility.

Looking for work? You might want to start connecting with your fellow freelancers! The same study found that word-of-mouth was the top source of work for 82% of respondents. Interestingly, only 6% cited social media as their top source of work.

Interested in reading the full report? Check it out here.

Freelancers, why did you go independent?