Most Lucrative Skills to Learn Today
Money is difficult. Everyone needs it, but it’s hard to get and keep it in steady enough flow to meet your needs. We made this list of the 30 most lucrative skills you can learn online from the point of view that a new skill to learn puts you in line for new income streams. That’s not all–certain skills can staunch the flow of dollars out of your account, which while not lucrative in the classical sense, serves the same end. If you are looking for skills to learn that can diversify your income sources, or just change up your career, this list can prove helpful. A few of these skills to learn can only be followed so far before attendance at a university is called for. In that case, we have listed online degree programs below the write up.
#1 – Learn to Code and/or IT
The Odin Project is an open source project that pulls from curriculums all across the web to give you the tools it requires to become an employed web developer, including a portfolio of projects on Github. The enterprise is named the allfather of the gods in Norse mythology whose defining characteristic, above all, was curiosity for new knowledge. If you are curious about a career in computers, this course promises to take you through to the other (employably skilled) side in about 1000 hours.
#2 – SEO and/or Google Analytics
Take it from me, a lot of people are currently making their living writing for the internet and anything that you write for the internet needs to be cognizant of search engine optimization and that is a field that is CONSTANTLY changing. A good way to stay abreast of best practices as they now stand is to read a blog that posts daily on the topic. Search Engine Journal is just such a blog. They also run regular webinars on new topics and sponsor a weekly podcast, the Search Engine Nerds.
#3 – Microsoft Excel
An unexpected hurdle in researching online Excel courses was the unhelpful design of several otherwise seemingly perfectly useful resources. Being confronted with unranked grids of data while I try to improve my skills to learn about using grids of data, sets one up for frustration. One site that avoids this pitfall is Chandoo.org, where the information is beneficially organized and free, at least for the basics. Paid components are available for those who wish to truly become “excellent” at Excel.
#4 – Learn Chinese
You already know all the compelling reasons to pick up this language that is spoken by more than a billion potential clients. Now with Domino Chinese’s flexible pricing plans starting at just $2 a month, you are that much closer to broadening your horizons and your customer base. As is typical of contemporary online language study, Domino Chinese balances video, brief lessons, and live chatting practice, against the backdrop of a former Chinese television host named Felix who serves as your language guru.
#5 – Podcasting
Who doesn’t have a podcast idea kicking around in the back of their head? If you have decided what format of podcast you will be doing, the next step is to obtain the highest quality equipment that a limited budget (and, all budgets are limited) can afford. Podcastconsultant.com has a good list of necessary equipment at multiple price points for each piece of gear. A lot of resources recommend having at least one co-host, and the more chemistry you have together the better your end product will be.
#6 – YouTube
A really solid resource for developing a knowledge base of what YouTube is, and how it can be utilized to put money in your pocket is the Creator Academy at YouTube itself. It is a series of 31 lessons that start with the basics and branches out into how to avoid burnout among other topics. The lessons are of course submitted in YouTube video format coupled with multiple choice questions that help you define your vision for what you are hoping to gain from this online platform.
#7 – Photography Skills
You got a sweet deal on a nice DSLR on Facebook Marketplace and are ready to get your side hustle off the ground. Now you just need…some skills to learn. Luckily, the internet has your back. YouTube is an amazing resource in this department. The popular website FStoppers expanded into YouTube and both the channel and the website are a great resource to learn basic skills, and commune with other shutterbugs. They offer tutorials, equipment reviews, and they have a regular video feature where photography pros review amateur photos in a helpful manner.
#8 – Technical Writing
Study.com features the online class English 305 which starts with the basics of technical writing and ends with writing instructions, manuals, and proposals. This class does not count for college credit, but it can prepare you to access their paid service of proctored testing for college credit. For $29.99 a month you get basic access to this course and hundred of others, complete with video lessons, graded assignments, and the aforementioned testing for college credit.
#9 – PhotoShop
TUTS+ is our choice for the top site to learn the ins and outs of Adobe Photoshop online for free. They do offer paid content as well, but the freebies offered here will get you well on your way being Photoshop proficient. With how-to tutorials and reviews of new effects packages, this site will keep you abreast of best practices in the field of photo manipulation. With paid access, the site offers complete courses and ebooks. But there is plenty of free content to keep you busy.
#10 – Microsoft Word
LinkedIn offers 30 days free access to their 10k+ classes taught by experts in the field. They have multiple courses on Microsoft Word that can get you inserting charts and using macros, no matter which version of Word you are using. After 30 days, access costs $24.99 monthly, with up to a 20% discount for those who pay annually. LinkedIn helpfully points out that many employers find this a valuable resource and will reimburse you for expenses in this area.
#11 – Public Speaking
This course offered by the University of Washington through the platform of Coursera is part of a four course Public Speaking Specialization. Taking about sixteen hours to complete, the 100% online course offers flexible deadlines to meet your scheduling needs. The coursework consists of about an hour of lecture per week, readings, and quizzes. Skills to learn through the class include confidence and presentation planning. Full access to the course requires paid membership, but completion of the four course sequence will unlock a specialization that can be added to your LinkedIn profile or CV.
#12 – Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access training for Microsoft.com is a well laid out introduction to databases, tables, and relationships used in the program. Hint: This course assumes you know your way around Excel, so you might run over the resources at #4 on this list if you are not up to speed in that department. The resources offered by Microsoft are a series of introductory videos and then a series of decision trees to help you suss out your particular needs from the program.
#13 – WordPress
WP101 offers monthly and yearly all-access passes to their coursework on WordPress and its attendant plugins like Yoast and Jetpack. WordPress was originally just for blogs, but now can be used for complete websites, stores, and many others. WP101’s website also offers exclusive discounts for companies offering web hosting and themes for WordPress. The site also partners with Codeable to provide WordPress experts for hire, starting at $60 an hour. Which you can take as reinforcement to how lucrative upping your WordPress game can be.
#14 – Accounting
The Open University offers a plethora of online accounting knowledge that is, in keeping with their mission, completely free. They start with basics like introduction to bookkeeping, but branch into specifics like liquidity management. If you are interested in becoming credentialed in accounting, a more formal program from a community college or university would be required. But the open university can get you from basics up to operating speed, and you get a digital badge or statement of participation for completing their free coursework.
#15 – PowerPoint
Skillshare.com’s Presentation Design for Smart People class can be accessed for three months on the site for just 99 cents, according to a current promotion. The 3+ hour course covers narrative arc, the three types of presentations, and storyboards. The latter half of the class entails graphic design and visual hierarchy as well as helpful dos and don’ts for fonts and colors. The program includes one well designed visually pleasing presentation that you will present to the class.
#16 – Digital Marketing
Google Online Marketing Challenge is a program for college students at any level to gain real world marketing experience assisting a participating nonprofit with their online ad campaigns. Google provides the teams of 2-5 students with a Google Ad Grant of up to $10,000 per month to purchase Google ads for the nonprofit. The students work under a faculty member and ideally build a relationship with the client and provide a Post-Campaign Analysis at the end of the program.
#17 – Ethical Hacking
The complete ethical hacking bundle sold by BoingBoing is an eight course bundle that, true to the spirit of Boing Boing’s ethic, requires you pay what you want. They mean it. Course titles include: “Learn Website Hacking and Penetration Testing From Scratch,” “From Zero to Hero in Web, Network, and WiFi Hacking,” and “Hack People Systems and Mobile Devices.” Remember that white hat/ethical hacking is designed to test and strengthen systems protections and make us savvier consumers and producers of electronic content.
#18 – Copywriting
Writing of any kind needs to be clear and concise with a strong voice. Copy Hackers can help you take the prose you construct for pay to the next level. One of its co-founders, Joanna Wiebe, describes their outlook as not one of crass direct-selling but of finding each client’s voice that also happens to draw readers and, potentially, clients. In their introductory page, they offer free ebooks that offer how to write newsletters that get read and a guide for “Conversion Marketers” to achieve marketable copy.
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