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8+ Best Freelance Skills To Learn In 2021

freelance skills to learn

If you’re looking to switch to a better career this year, the first thing you should do is find and develop a skill.

In this post, I’m showcasing some of the top freelance skills you can learn this year to start a new career and earn more money as a freelancer.

My previous post about the highest paying freelance jobs outlines the categories for earning the highest income as a freelancer. The list below goes to the barebones of those categories to suggest specific skills you should start developing right away.

If you’ve read my book or followed the getting started guide, you’ll notice that one of the first steps I suggest for beginners is to find a marketable skill that has good demand.

For this list, I gathered data from two surveys (from Flexjobs, Indeed, and UpWork) to find the skills with the highest demand.

Some of these skills may seem complicated or difficult, but once you understand the skills, it’s not too difficult to learn these skills.

I will suggest a few courses from Skillshare you can enroll in to start learning each of these skills as well. Have a look.

1. JavaScript, CSS, and HTML

javascript css skills

Web development is still one of the most in-demand jobs in the freelancing markets.

Specifically, JavaScript programming, as well as CSS and HTML coding skills, ranked at the top of the 15 most in-demand skills on UpWork in 2020.

JavaScript in particular was on the top of the list due to many brands and businesses experimenting with interactive elements on their websites. This could be the perfect year to improve your JavaScript skills and leverage the opportunities in the market.

Keep in mind that with more demand comes more competition. You will have to compete with thousands of other freelancers for web development gigs.

Find ways to be unique and an exceptional freelancer if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

2. Web App Development

app development skills

Since the pandemic, many businesses switched to selling their products and services online. This involved transforming their websites into web apps.

Many businesses such as restaurants, pizza shops, and even grocery stores used web apps to let customers shop online and get their products delivered to their homes.

This is one of the main reasons why the demand for web app development saw a rise in 2020. And it will continue to be for a long time while we are adjusting to the new normal.

A great thing about web apps is that they work just like a mobile app on phones. This reduces the costs of developing native Android and iOS apps for businesses.

Web app development is not new but there are plenty of ways you can explore this category to find the right skills to create a career for you.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

3. WordPress Design & Development

wordpress design and development skills

WordPress offers one of the fastest and most convenient ways of building websites.

It’s also quite cheap to make a website with WordPress. As a result, it’s the go-to choice for making websites for small businesses.

Designing WordPress themes, developing complex websites, creating online stores, and building membership platforms using WordPress are all great ways to get into WordPress development as a freelancer.

WordPress was ranked at the 7th spot of the most in-demand skills on UpWork in 2020.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

4. Project Management

Project Management skills

Many businesses switched to remote work during the pandemic. While a few struggled with the process, most businesses embraced this change and decided to make the switch permanent.

This process opened up new opportunities for freelancers as well, especially for project managers.

Project managers are usually in charge of managing a team, assigning tasks, and making sure projects are on the right track.

According to FlexJobs, project management is the 4th hottest skill to pursue this year. If you’re a people person, this may be the perfect skill for you.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

5. Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing skills recommends cloud computing as the most in-demand skills to learn this year. When it comes to cloud computing, there are so many different niches you can explore.

Mainly you should focus on gaining an understanding of cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and learning the skills necessary to become a cloud computing engineer or even a programmer.

Then you can seek to join SaaS (software as a Service) businesses and startups to help develop their projects. AngelList has plenty of opportunities for such professionals.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

6. Data Science & Analysis

Data Science skills

Data science may sound complicated but it’s a fairly simple skill to learn.

In business, it’s mainly about helping companies analyze their sales and customer data to further improve a business.

Data analysts earn high-paying salaries and it’s a lucrative skill you can master. But, you also need to have additional skills to interpret data, spot patterns, and more to become skilled at data analysis.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

7. Administrative Assistance

Administrative Assistance skills

Administrative assistants are in charge of managing things that usually take place in an office, except now it all happens online.

As an administrative assistant, your job is to look after the clients, manage social media, keep tabs on your teams, offer virtual assistance, bookkeeping, and other activities.

While it may sound easy, this job requires lots of skill and the ability to multitask.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

8. Consulting

Consulting skills

With the rapid increase in businesses going online and switching to remote work, the demand for freelance consultants is also on the rise.

The average salary of a management consultant is over $87K per year. Most consultants usually charge a rate of around $60 per hour for their services as well.

Consulting is a difficult skill to master as a beginner. Especially since it requires you to have experience in the industry you choose.

However, some consulting categories like SEO consulting are fairly easy to learn. You can even experiment by yourself to develop experience.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

9. Video Production

According to the most recent survey from UpWork, Video Production is another skill that’s rising in demand.

Especially with platforms like TikTok taking over the social networking space, it’s no wonder why businesses are looking for video producers and editors to make better video content.

It’s the perfect time to learn and master your skills as a video editor if you want to be a successful freelancer.

Recommended Courses To Learn This Skill

Over To You

Finding the right skill with good demand is important to earn more money as a freelancer. But, it’s even more important to find something that you enjoy doing.

Don’t try to learn these skills if you don’t have any interest in them. Learn what you’d enjoy doing and you won’t have to “work” a day in your life.

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Did you find this article useful? Then you should check out my book Freelance Like A Pro. It includes 21 lessons and 5 secrets from my freelance career to help you supercharge your journey as a freelancer. Click here to learn more.

Roshan Perera
Roshan Jerad Perera is a freelance writer, blogger, and founder of His main goal is to help others get started in freelancing and guide them toward a successful career and financial freedom.
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  • Christian Jarvis Sucaldito Jan 30,2021 at 1:29 PM

    As a general virtual assistant, I am glad to see that what we do is still relevant and is still needed in 2021. But I can see the need to also learn more so I can expand on my skills and what I can offer my clients.

    • Roshan Perera Feb 1,2021 at 9:24 AM

      Yes. Pairing your main skill with a couple of sub-skills will help you position yourself better against your competition.

  • Sandali Chathurika Dec 25,2020 at 12:20 PM

    Really useful. This article helped me to find a skill before I begin my freelance journey.

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