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The 20 Most Marketable High Income Skills You Can Learn Online

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Have you ever wanted to earn extra income but just couldn’t find the right gig? Do you sometimes feel that your career’s gone stale and you’re ready for something else?


Maybe it’s time to learn a new skill (or 20, we won’t stop you)!



In this article, we're going to examine the 20 most marketable high-income skills that you can learn online. Here's our list:




Introduction

Whether you’re looking to diversify your sources of income or enrich your career portfolio, learning a new skill will definitely stimulate you and help you land new opportunities. Now more than ever, it’s so much easier to learn something new.


How is that? Can learning ever be easy?


Well, here’s the deal: Of course, you’ll still have to do your homework. But a huge chunk of what used to make learning inaccessible is now gone. These days, thousands of courses are available online from reputable teachers and the best international schools - all you need to do is show up regularly and put in the effort.


A lot of online courses are also free or offer free trials before you commit. Even paid programs offer great value and have high-quality, expert-reviewed learning materials that you can download and study. There’s no need to go from building to building to take short courses - you can even take multiple courses at once.


And the best part? You can do most of it on your own time, in the comfort of your home or office, at a pace that’s comfortable for you.


We’ve listed down 20 marketable skills that can definitely enhance your professional portfolio and help you earn more. Read on and list down a course or two you might be interested in. Towards the end, we’ll also give you a list of resources to help you zero in on the right courses depending on your time, instructional needs, and budget.



List of Marketable Skills You Can Learn Online


1. SEO and/or Google Analytics

Learning to understand SEO and Google Analytics is a very valuable skill, especially in the digital age. If you’re interested in making content for the internet, it’s also important to understand how exactly search engines interpret and prioritize what you publish.


SEO specialists are now in demand precisely because businesses are beginning to understand just how important it is to maximize their website performance by making sure search engines give their content a fair chance at ranking high on search results. Higher rankings, of course, mean more eyeballs and pageviews, and eventually more sales.


Google Analytics is a great starter tool for understanding website performance based on a set of metrics. Through it, you’ll see how many users visit a certain site, how many page views it has, how long visitors stay on a certain page, and which pages are performing well in terms of engagement. It has a simple and straightforward design, too, so you won’t get lost or overwhelmed trying to understand all the data.


If you’re interested in learning more about SEO and analytics, we suggest reading through SEO blogs such as Search Engine Journal, Ahrefs Blog, and Neil Patel’s SEO blog. Coursera also offers an SEO specialization course in partnership with UC Davis.



2. Advanced Microsoft Excel

While a lot of professionals know how to use basic MS Excel, extra value is placed on advanced spreadsheet skills. MS Excel can be a super tool once you know how to use formulas and features effectively.


A lot of businesses use spreadsheets in managing company data, so it’s helpful to level up your MS Excel skills if you’re involved in administrative work, actuarial services, or any field where data organization and utilization are needed.


Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, and edX are some of the online platforms that offer courses in advanced MS Excel. Among the things you’ll learn are how to create effective spreadsheets, manage large amounts of data, and how to use some of Excel's most popular and highly sought-after functions like SUM, VLOOKUP, IF, AVERAGE, and INDEX/MATCH.



3. Microsoft Word

You might be thinking, 'Really, MS Word?' Many of us may already be adept at using MS Word’s basic functions, but then again, this popular word-processing tool still has a lot to offer to those who want to learn more.


Did you know that you could use MS Word to create and run macros (a task automator) and insert charts? These are just some of the additional features you can learn to master within MS Word, and can come in handy especially if you’re looking to establish a career as a writer or editor, where you’ll have to deal with large volumes of text.


LinkedIn Learning offers multiple courses on MS Word mastery to help you write, edit, and design documents using beginner and advanced functions. They have a free 30-day trial too, where you can access over 10k classes taught by field experts.



4. Microsoft PowerPoint

MS PowerPoint is yet another underrated software. We might all be acquainted with it as our trusty tool for creating presentations, but there’s more to a presentation than just text and visuals.


Unlocking new ways to use MS PowerPoint beyond the usual templates also means having better narratives, visuals, and transitions in your presentations. We all know how boring it can be to stare at a text-heavy, drab-looking MS PowerPoint deck. Learning how to use MS PowerPoint to tell effective stories and sell pitches sounds like a good deal, right?


Skillshare offers one such course, entitled 'Presentation Design for Smart People.' You can learn how to plan your presentation’s narrative arc, use a storyboard, create visually attractive slides, and even how to present better. There’s also a bonus section on how to write scripts specifically for presentations, to help you gain more confidence while you present.



5. Digital Marketing

Successful businesses understand the importance of investing in digital marketing. Knowing how to take advantage of the web’s various platforms to promote a brand is a powerful and valuable skill.


Gone are the days of just relying on print, TV ads, and word-of-mouth to promote one’s business. Now, people rely on reviews, influencer marketing, and overall brand reliability to decide whether they want in on your product or not.


Learning how to market digitally also means learning how to think outside the box (if there’s still even a box at all), and continually coming up with new ways to improve and adapt. SEO is part of digital marketing, and so are social media marketing and marketing through various digital channels - giving you plenty of directions to specialize and earn certifications in!


For instance, Google Ad Grants has an interesting nonprofit program for students and mentors of digital marketers looking to learn or hone their skills. Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare all offer digital marketing programs that will expose you to added skills such as market research, email marketing, SEO, copywriting, Google Adwords, and many more.



6. Learn a Language

Ever get into one of those foreign language holes on Netflix? You know, the one where you’re casually exploring a foreign language film or series, and the next thing you know - you want to learn how to speak that language!


Well, it’s not too late, and it’s not a bad idea at all. Learning a new language increases your marketability and profitability in the professional field because it gives you an edge - especially if you master a language enough to be able to write in it, translate it, or speak to potential clients.


With 2020 ushering in remote work across several industries, it’s beneficial to learn a new language and break down barriers with foreign collaborators.


By simply downloading apps such as Duolingo and Babbel, learning a new language is easy, accessible on any mobile device, and free. YouTube is also a helpful resource because there are a lot of free learning materials you can choose from. If you are looking for a more structured learning approach, there are thousands of online courses to choose from. Both Coursera and Udemy also offer a vast array of language courses taught completely online.



7. Public Speaking

Many people start to sweat just thinking about public speaking - it’s one of the most common phobias in the world! If you’re looking for a challenge that will bolster both your personality and your career, perhaps it’s worth taking the time to hone your public speaking skills.


Organizations such as schools and businesses pay good money for motivational speakers or field experts who can either help inspire, train, or offer extra value to their audience. Public speaking runs the gamut of different industries: it can be beneficial to you if you’re in Human Resources & Training, Marketing, Business Development, Writing, Coding, Economics, or even Applied Physics!

You know we’re just listing down all possible industries, right? That’s because whatever industry you’re in, people are always eager to learn more from someone who’s confident, knowledgeable, and charismatic.


These days public speaking can also mean conducting online talks and workshops via Zoom/video platforms, so it would be a great time to practice your presentation skills.


Online courses such as the University of Washington’s 'Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization' course via Coursera can help you gain more confidence, learn how to use your voice and gestures to convey messages more clearly, and how to make engaging presentations.



8. Basics of Coding

Coding is a highly lucrative skill. If you happen to be interested in it, chances are high that you’ve already dabbled in basic coding and web development. There are plenty of free resources where you can experiment with building websites of your own, such as Wix.com.


Even if you’re not going to shift to a career in coding or IT per se, it can still be a helpful skill. Say you’re a content manager using a CMS - basic coding can help you get through everyday glitches and bugs without having to escalate each issue to your developers.


The Odin Project offers a comprehensive curriculum for those interested in coding. Among the things you’ll learn about are HTML, Java, GIT, and Ruby. Coursera offers a wide variety of coding courses as well.



9. Adobe Photoshop

Learning basic Photoshop skills can be very helpful even if you’re not specifically looking to make a career in design. Photoshop can be useful even for writers, bloggers, content managers, and site owners to create simple and correctly sized visuals for their platforms.


It’s also a great creative tool, of course. A lot of independent artists use Photoshop to create digital collage art and illustrations, which they then sell online as printables, digital art, stickers, posters, shirts, etc.


There are many ways to get acquainted with the basics of Photoshop, YouTube being one of them. For more in-depth tutorials, you can always check out courses from Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera.



10. Graphic Design & Social Media Marketing

Graphic design and social media marketing are a powerful skill combo especially if you’re looking to do freelance work. Social media marketers who can create their own graphics and incorporate them into campaigns are in a league of their own and are highly sought-after.


This is because much of social media marketing relies on great graphic design and also agility. Most marketing campaigns require large volumes of graphics, which means that there will always be a demand for designs and designers.


So, it’s helpful if the social media specialist can hold down the fort and create their own materials, with their target audience in mind. After all, social media graphics operate under a different set of rules compared to print and other digital banners.


If you’re interested in learning more about graphic design for social media, Udemy offers a course called 'Social Media Graphic Design for Beginners.' You’ll learn how to maximize tools such as Canva, and how to create graphics specifically for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and even e-books.



11. Microsoft Access

MS Access is a database management system from Microsoft that allows you to store, organize, and retrieve data. If you already know your way around MS Excel, you can probably master MS Access too.


Knowing how to use MS Access is valuable in industries where you need to analyze large amounts of information and manage related data efficiently. Open Gate Software explains the differences between MS Excel and Access here. In brief, MS Access is a better fit for larger volumes of data that need better analysis and retrieval options.


Microsoft also has Microsoft Access Training, which introduces you to databases, tables, and other features used in the program.



12. Programming Language Specialization

In relation to item #7, you can also learn how to code in a specific programming language, depending on what you aim to create. Do you want to focus on creating websites, apps, or info databases? Based on your needs, you can zoom in on a programming language that’s most appropriate for you.


Some of the most common programming languages are:


JavaScript

One of the most popular codes to learn, JavaScript is used in both front-end and back-end programming. It is widely used, works well with other languages, and is updated regularly. If you're interested in learning more about JavaScript, we recommend Coursera's "HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for Web Developers" course, offered by Johns Hopkins University.


SQL

Despite being a much older language, SQL remains relevant to programmers today because of its capacity to run big data applications. It’s used by corporations with large databases such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM. To learn more about SQL, check out "SQL Basics for Data Science" on Coursera.


Ruby

A popular language among beginners, Ruby offers simple syntax that allows for ease of writing code. Famous startups such as Airbnb, Shopify, and Bloomberg all started their websites using Ruby.


Python

Popular among tech-focused coders, Python’s syntax is clear and intuitive. It’s known for being versatile and user-friendly, hence its popularity. It’s also been used to develop some of the most successful apps of today - Spotify and Instagram. To learn more about Python, check out Python for Everybody on Coursera.



13. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is one of the skills that LinkedIn identified as one of the most in-demand skills of 2020, and for good reason. Cloud computing is quickly becoming in demand because it’s one of the fastest-growing businesses in IT - following Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook, every other company is searching for flexible, cloud-based solutions to their products. This means that they’ll need experts on hand - professionals who know their way around cloud computing and what current trends point toward.


Cloud Academy offers training programs that will help you learn about cloud computing and prepare for Amazon Web Services certification. They offer free trials and plans ranging from $34 to $39 a month. Coursera also offers a number of courses on cloud computing, including "Introduction to Cloud Computing" for beginners, and "Cloud Computing Specialization" for more experienced programmers.



14. Data Analytics

Multiple industries are now relying on data analytics to identify economic trends and consumer patterns that they can use to leverage their business strategies. Knowing how to collect, understand, and interpret data in such a way that it would be understandable and helpful to other members of an organization is a valuable skill, and is therefore highly marketable.


Google Analytics Academy offers free online courses that will help with business growth through data collection and analysis. Among the courses Google offers are Google Analytics for Beginners, Advanced Google Analytics, Google Analytics for Power Users, Analytics 360, Introduction to Data Studio, and Google Tag Manager Fundamentals. Coursera also offers a professional certification course called "Google Data Analytics."



15. Chatbot Development

What is a chatbot, you might ask? A chatbot is a software app that uses artificial intelligence to simulate human conversation. This comes with the territory of social media marketing, particularly Facebook Messenger marketing.


Chatbots are responsible for the automated menus and assistance options that you get when you message a brand or a company on Facebook.


Did you know that Facebook Messenger marketing alone is responsible for 80% average open rates and 20% click-through rates? That’s huge! And that’s why companies are really looking into optimizing chatbots to ensure that no client concern or inquiry goes through the cracks.


It follows that if you’re someone who knows how to build and operate chatbots, you’ll definitely be able to market this skill - whether as a member of a marketing team that relies heavily on Facebook or as someone who specifically builds and operates chatbots for various brands.


Mobile Monkey has a lot of resources and how-to’s on chatbot development, while Udemy and Coursera offer courses on how to build a chatbot using programming code.



16. Web Development

Learning how to develop websites is incredibly valuable because tons of new brands are always popping up - and most of them need to establish a credible, efficient, and well-designed website.


Sure, it’s easy to build a templated website, but most companies are looking to establish reliable websites that will get their names out in the market and provide their clients with a great user experience - this needs the customized approach of a skilled web developer.


That being said, if you’re interested in web development, there are comprehensive courses on Udemy and Skillshare that will help you learn the basics of building websites and even apps.

Among the things you’ll have to learn are the basics of HTML and CSS, how to use GitHub Pages and WordPress to build sites, and how to design for the web.



17. Accounting & Bookkeeping

In this day and age of remote work, freelance accountants and tax specialists are in high demand. And yes, it’s possible to learn the basics of accounting and bookkeeping from the web!


Of course, if you want to get licensed, you’ll still have to take classes from a university or community college, but for operational-level accounting and bookkeeping, there are a lot of online resources such as The Open Academy and edX.


They offer courses that introduce you to the basics of bookkeeping and liquidity management, among others. edX even has an option to obtain an AIPB (American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers) certificate, which is a professional certificate bookkeepers can obtain to show their professional expertise.



18. Emotional Intelligence

Modern workplaces are placing an increasingly heavy focus on so-called "soft skills" like emotional intelligence. Now more than ever, people are beginning to understand the importance of mental health and its effect on work performance. Emotional intelligence is a valuable skill to hone because of two things:


● It’ll help you become more self-aware and build effective relationships at work; You’ll also be able to identify your triggers and help yourself cope better with work stress and pressure.

● Understanding the basics of emotional intelligence can also help you find a career as a life coach or a professional coach, where you help others enrich their emotional intelligence so that they are better equipped to collaborate with others at work.


LinkedIn Learning offers a specialized course called 'Developing Your Emotional Intelligence,' while Udemy offers one that focuses on workplace collaboration, called 'Collaboration and Emotional Intelligence.'



19. Google Ads

Getting certified in Google Ads is yet another valuable skill for digital marketing professionals, especially if you’re interested in SEO and other aspects of digital marketing and advertising.

Grow with Google offers a myriad of courses on digital marketing mastery ranging from topics such as Google Adwords, the basics of digital marketing, online ads, and Google Analytics.


Google Skillshop offers a much more in-depth look at the inner workings of Google Ads with Google Ads Certifications, Google Ads Search, Ads Display, Ads Video, Shopping Ads, and Smart Campaigns.



20. Negotiation Skills

This is one of those skills that works like a professional Swiss knife. If you know how to negotiate and bargain, you’ll likely be successful in many industries, especially in sales, customer service, and advertising. Hey, not to mention all the good deals you’ll get at all those flea markets when you go shopping abroad, right?


But seriously, negotiation is a timelessly marketable skill that dates back from the salesmen of old - and it’s still a very relevant skill. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of online courses on negotiation from universities and digital platforms alike.


Chicago Booth has an upcoming live online program entitled 'Negotiate with Influence: Shape Outcomes at the Bargaining Table' that costs $2,500 and runs for two weeks. Udemy also offers 'Successful Negotiation: Master Your Negotiating Skills' for professionals who want to master the art of negotiation.


The book "Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury is another excellent resource.



Where Can You Learn These Skills?

Aside from the links and resources mentioned above, here’s a list of websites and programs where you can learn and unlock new skills. Courses range from free to paid, so feel free to browse through them to find the best fit for you.


Here’s a great list of online educational websites Where You Can Learn the Skills Mentioned Above:


Coursera’s tagline is 'Learn Without Limits,' and rightly so. The platform offers 5100+ courses and specializations 40+ certificates and 25+ degrees, in collaboration with 200+ leading companies and universities such as the University of Illinois, Duke University, University of Michigan, IBM, Imperial College London, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania.


'Learn on your schedule' with Udemy, which offers over 155,000 online video courses on a wide array of topics. They offer a learn-at-your-own-pace learning structure, with lifetime access on mobile and desktop.


You can also choose from a wide selection of top industry professionals around the world, all from the comfort of your own home or office.


3. edX

edX Believes that 'Restless learners change the world,' and we agree. With edX, you can access over 3000+ courses offered by 160 member universities. Among them are MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, University of Texas System, Boston University, and University System of Maryland.


They specialize in popular programs such as Computer Science, Language, Data Science, Business & Management, Engineering, and Humanities.


MasterClass is an online learning platform that offers courses from leading experts in their fields, ranging from top chefs, actors, singers, authors, and many more. They also offer MasterClass for Business, which allows teams of 5-20 people or more to learn business skills from MasterClass.


MasterClass offers 100+ classes across nine categories: Arts & Entertainment, Home & Lifestyle, Writing, Business, Food, Music, Design & Style, Sports & Gaming, Wellness, Community & Government, and Science & Tech. There’s a lot to learn, and as they say at MasterClass, 'Today’s the day.'


The All-access pass for these courses costs $15 monthly, billed annually.


Skillshare offers various online courses across creative, business, technology, and lifestyle categories. They pride themselves in being a learning community for creators, which means that anyone can take a class, create projects, and even teach classes themselves.


They currently offer 30% off Skillshare Premium memberships, but they also offer free classes, which you can check out here.


LinkedIn Learning offers video courses taught by industry experts in various fields. Courses fall into three categories: Business, Creative, and Technology. With over 16,000 courses to choose from, LinkedIn Learning offers a wide selection of high-quality learning materials administered by experts in their respective fields.


You can access it free for a month, with a cancel-anytime commitment from LinkedIn.



How Can Having Any of These Skills Be Useful/Marketable?

All of the skills we’ve outlined above will help you to either do your current job better or create new jobs and business opportunities for you. We know learning can sometimes be monotonous and dragging, but thankfully, these resources are anything but. Take note, though, that we didn’t say things would be easy. That’s rarely the point of learning, is it?


Luckily, with a bit of focused commitment and a WiFi connection, you’ll be able to find the right courses that will keep you interested and your gears going. Hey, we’re rooting for you! Depending on your strengths and interests, we suggest shortlisting at least five skills and scouting options for online learning. The best part about learning at this time is that you can learn at your own pace, depending on your budget, time, and needs.


At the very least, learning a skill or two from this list will give your resume a boost, although we doubt that’ll be its only benefit for you. Once you learn something new, it rarely goes to waste. You can always tap a new business or career opportunity with that newfound skill!



Time Spent Learning These Skills Will Pay Off

One of the best quotes about learning is from American radio speaker and author Earl Nightingale; “One hour per day of study in your chosen field is all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”


This reminds us that the little, constant steps we take towards being better in our chosen fields are, at the end of the day, all that’s needed to ensure that we’re doing our very best in whatever we choose to do.


No matter how much time you invest in learning any of these skills daily - be it fifteen minutes or an hour, that’s already a good chunk of your day invested in improving yourself, and that’s a win!


Plus, employers are increasingly becoming more specific in terms of looking for skill sets in potential employees. It helps to think that learning these added skills can be free and ultimately accessible to you any time you choose.




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