If you understand the modern-day tendencies and accumulate the right skills, the world will truly be your oyster. At the same time, choosing one’s path is a difficult task and sometimes every single one of us will make mistakes and lose precious time trying this and that and doing things leading to… actually nowhere.
But here is the good news. We live in the golden age of technology, which allows us to acquire new knowledge and skills easily and quickly as never before. Now, when the digital wave is sweeping the world, anyone with Internet access can learn practically anything.
Well, if you’re online, that already means you have all the necessary equipment for learning skills related to computer programming, graphics design, user experience, mathematics, reading, writing, copy editing, and many more. Just turn on your PC/laptop/smartphone, go online, type a few words in the search bar, and voila! You can master any skill that does not require special equipment or premises by yourself in the comfortable home environment.
But what are the skills really worth learning among the countless options you can find on the Internet? This is a difficult and controversial question and we will try to find the answer in this very article.
1. Data Analytics
Data analysis is the practice of examining, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data sets in order to discover some useful information, draw conclusions, and make good decisions, often with the help of specialized software. Data analysis is effectively used to discover new opportunities, reveal big business relationships, and improve one’s business performance.
No wonder, data analytics is in great demand, but qualified professionals in this field are still scarce. Moreover, data analysts are some of the fastest-growing roles in the modern labor market. According to recent estimates, the quantity of job listings in data science and analytics is going to grow by more than 360,000 listings to approximately 2,700,000 by 2020.
With enough passion and due diligence, you can become a competent data analyst and grab one of those proliferating positions in the nearest future. The first thing to do now is to learn Microsoft Excel at a decent level in order to be able to effectively use it for data analysis and good visualizations. After that, you can learn one of the languages such as Python, SAS, R, etc.
If you do not have money for charged courses in data analysis, do not worry – it is easy to find a free online course or make use of plentiful video tutorials available on the Internet, just go and check out Google or YouTube. If you want to learn from a professional tutor, take advantage of the Eurekly platform – this is the best place to find an experienced and engaged teacher.
2. Digital Marketing
In a highly competitive environment, companies struggle desperately for new customers and look for new effective instruments to promote their services and products. In fact, approximately six billion people reach the digital world via their smartphones to access information, goods, or services, and that is why the Internet has become a crucial marketing medium for millions of successful brands all over the globe.
Digital marketing is continuously evolving and it might soon outcompete traditional advertising like newspapers, magazines, street banners, radio broadcasts, and TV commercials. Some of the commonly used forms of digital marketing are email advertising, online videos, websites, blogs, SEO content, web banner ads, PPC advertising, mobile marketing, and advertisements in social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, VK, or LinkedIn.
Since people worldwide tend to consume digital content for many hours per day, data-savvy marketers who know how to handle the digital environment effectively are really in high demand. Apart from this, digital marketing skills are critical to entrepreneurs and will prove beneficial to the majority of businesses.
Some of the best free online courses in digital marketing are Google’s Online Marketing Challenge, Social Media Quickstarter, Alison Free Diploma in E-Business, and PPC University. You can also check out 20 Digital Marketing Experts to Follow on Twitter. Good luck!
3. SEO and/or Google Analytics
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of increasing the website traffic through organic search results on search engines. “Organic” means without resorting to paid advertising. SEO specialists know how to improve the traffic both in quality and quantity – they optimize the website content in order to attract a higher number of genuinely interested visitors.
A myriad of texts appear on the Internet every day and all of them need to be cognizant of search engine optimization, otherwise they will not reach the right audience or not reach any audience at all. As a result, we see a growing demand for SEO experts and that is not going to change in the nearest future.
Moreover, SEO strategies evolve swiftly because they need to adapt to the ever-changing search engine algorithms, so website optimization is in fact a never-ending process.
SEO is something you can perfectly learn by yourself and for free. Probably, you should learn it for free because, even after the most prestigious SEO course, you will end up trying to learn many more things from outside.
While learning the SEO basics, it might be also a good idea to start a blog where you will be able to immediately implement what you have learned.
4. Investing Money
This is one of those high-profit skills that we usually do not acquire at school or from parents. Most of us have no idea how to invest money and there is a wide variety of options, including stocks, fixed deposits, mutual funds, real estate, etc.
The stock market is one giving really high returns but at the same time involving high risks. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. Buying and selling stocks effectively (with regular substantial profit) requires good understanding of the stock market processes, analytical thinking, self-possession, and prompt reaction.
Now, there are many content-rich courses available on the Internet (for example, MyCaptain) but most of them are not free. Usually such courses are conducted by experienced mentors who share their knowledge, provide useful schemes, and also give personal consultations.
For free classes on stocks, bonds, funds, and portfolios, you can check The Investing Classroom at Morningstar.com.
Once you have learned the basic principles of money investment and gained some practical experience in this field, you can start investing money for your own profit in the stock market as well as provide investment services to others.
5. Computer Programming
While machines replace humans in many occupational fields, somebody who programs those machines is always going to be in demand. Computer programming skill will allow you to build programs, software, tablet and smartphone applications – things that have become integral to our everyday life.
If you want to try yourself in this future-proof profession, start from learning one of the most common programming languages such as Java, Python, BASIC, Pascal, C, C++, Ada, or COBOL. All you will need for starting is your computer, some good compilers (available for free), and a reliable Internet connection.
Yes, programming is difficult but it’s all up to you – prepare to spend time and effort and the Internet will provide you with all necessary tools to master programming in theory and practice. There are countless coding courses and free educational resources for self-training.
Some of them are Codeacademy, which offers interactive training and is popular with beginners; Udemy with free informative video instructions; Coursera providing free introductory courses from famous universities; and Eurekly offering free trial lessons with the best computer science tutors.
Half a year is quite enough to learn the basics and start your own projects. Of course, mastering programming requires much more time but, during those 6 months, you could already create a website or application to put in your portfolio for potential employers.
6. Graphic Design
If you have an eye for color schemes and good design, love art as well as computers, you may consider becoming a graphic designer. Like many other computer-related professions, this one is in high demand and not going to lose its ground in the years to come.
On the contrary, the number of job listings for graphic designers is growing continuously. The job market is competitive, but if you manage to land a job, you will easily earn your living with graphic design.
As a freelance designer, all you need to start working is a portfolio showing your good design taste. To enrich your knowledge and develop your designing skills, you can employ a countless number of courses available on the Internet, for free or for money.
But before you get into, you should realize that your work is not going to be all about “pure art” and that your everyday duties may include such things as designing logo concepts, billboards, creating menus, business cards, flyers, posters, etc. If you are an artistic person who is okay with doing some donkey work as well, then this professional field can give you a truly marvelous way to make a living in a world that gets digitalized at lightspeed.
7. Video Editing
Video editing is the next big thing actually. Video has been the best marketing and promotional tool for products, services, music, ideas, news and educational information so far. It is also the most quick and efficient way to become famous – millions of Internet users across the globe go crazy over video bloggers who sometimes have nothing of value to share but their own personality and charm.
The majority of modern phones and computers have built-in video capturing and editing software, which is increasingly used by people in their everyday life as well as for professional purposes. People shoot videos, share videos, and watch videos all the time, so video is one of the most powerful tools to share a message with a worldwide audience.
Moreover, today’s video production does not require big money costs. Having a computer is already enough to make a pretty professional looking video if you possess the right editing skills. Finally, video making is a quickly growing business and there are plenty of companies and individuals who are ready to pay for a good video you can make for them.
Professional video editing software is very intuitive. Some of the programs you could start with are Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve 12, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Final Cut Pro X. For detailed instructions on how to edit videos and recommendations from experts, you can check YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, etc. (Check our course provider list at the end of the article).
While digital technology is changing the ways to sell things, the reasons to buy them are the same as before, the business world still depends on sales and needs somebody to persuade people to spend their money. This is why psychologists, economists, and copywriters are going to be in high demand in the years to come. A good copywriter opens people’s wallets with their approval while they do not even realize that.
If you want to become that good, an ability to write grammatically correct sensible texts is not enough, you should also master techniques to evoke responses from your readers. Web writing features its own specific style with a call-to-action connotation and a good copywriter should clearly understand human psychology behind purchase decisions.
With the correct copywriting skills, you will be able to create good landing pages, email sequences, and sales pages to grab people’s attention and persuade them to do what you want (in most cases – buy what you want).
The Internet will give you plentiful instructions on how to become a professional copywriter. To start with, you could read a few dedicated articles, then take a course or workshop on Udemy/Coursera/SkillShare/etc., and – practice a lot to develop your own style and create some remarkable items for your portfolio.
9. Communication Skills
This skill set will bring you benefits in absolutely any professional field because all profitable activities, in one way or another, involve interaction and building relationships with other people – whether bosses, colleagues, or customers.
We tend to think that professional competence and skills are the only key to success but, at the same time, we should not forget that the reward we get for a certain amount of efforts varies drastically depending on how effectively we build communication with the other parties in the working process.
Considering this, negotiation is a super skill. An ability to get the other person voluntarily do what you want will help you advance in your career, improve working conditions, and increase income as much as proficiency training can do. In addition, good communication skills will prove extremely useful in most areas of life, aside from professional activity.
YouTube and other platforms offer plentiful free video classes and courses to develop one’s charisma and communication skills. You can also check Charisma University for some structured content-rich classes and useful exercises from Charlie Houpert.