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7 Best Skills To Learn Online In 2020 (+ Online Courses)

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There’s never been a better time to learn something new than right now. 

The freelance industry is booming. The demand for remote work is rising. And finding jobs online is getting easier. 

If you’re wondering about what are the best skills to learn today, I have a few suggestions for you.

In this guide, I explore some of the best skills to learn with high demand. Plus I’ll share a few online course suggestions to help you get started on learning each skill.

Recently someone contacted me asking for advice on landing jobs. She had 5 years of experience as a web developer at a tech firm. But she was struggling to land jobs online.

Her problem was that most online gigs require more than just one skill. And she was only specializing in one skill. It’s actually quite common when working online. 

Since you’re working alone, you need to have at least a basic understanding of other relevant skills to your industry to deliver projects with high quality.

For example, if you’re a Web designer, having an understanding of UX design will help design better websites. Or if you’re a blogger, having knowledge in SEO greatly helps land jobs. Or if you’re a social media manager, you should have graphic design knowledge to create content for social networks.

Developing and learning about multiple skills related to your industry never goes to waste. In fact, it might even help you land more high paying jobs.

To help you get started finding practical skills to learn, I’ve rounded up a list of skills that have high demand in freelancing markets. As I’ve mentioned before, you can mix them together to learn multiple skills to have a better chance at landing jobs.

I will also suggest online courses related to each skill. I’m using Skillshare for the course suggestions because it gives you access to more than 16,000 classes for just one price. And the first two months are free. It’s like Netflix for learning and way more affordable than paying for individual courses. 

Let’s dive into the list. 

1. App Development (Programming)

Coding, or programming, still remains as one of the highest-paying skills in the freelancing markets. An experienced developer earns up to and over $1,000 per hour.

Although, there’s a reason for its’ high demand. Mainly because it’s not a skill you can master overnight, or even in a couple of months. It takes hundreds of hours of practice and learning to become an experienced developer.

If you’re up for the challenge, programming is a skill you can learn to create a profitable career and a better future. Today, app development has the highest demand.  And you can learn everything about app development using online courses and programs.

However, don’t expect to master coding after taking a few online courses. It will take much, much more than that.

Recommended Class: Android App Development for Beginners

app development course

This class on app development will offer you a great start to learning to code. It’s highly practical. And it will also help you understand what kind of challenges you have to face to become an app developer.

2. UX and UI Design

User Experience Design (UXD) and User Interface Design (UID) are two valuable skills that are also seeing rising demand in the current markets.

The main job of a UX designer is to help designers craft things that are user friendly. This applies to many different products and crafts. 

For example, take the smartphone you’re holding on your hand. At some point, a UX designer must-have decided to use a square-shaped design for smartphones. So that it’s easier to hold in one hand. Can you imagine how hard it would be to hold a phone if it was made with a round design?

That’s why UX design takes an important role in every design from website designs to posters, flyers, and even toilet paper.

UI designers are in charge of designing user interfaces, specifically for apps and web sites. Their job is also to make user interfaces that are easier to use and more effective.

Both these skills have a high demand on freelance marketplaces. And also offers great career opportunities.

Recommended Class: User Experience Design Essentials

uxd course

Try this online class on user experience design to get started in UX design. It’s best to learn about UX design first before learning about UI design.

3. Digital Marketing & SEO

We see many different social networking sites rising to fame from time to time. No matter the type of content they promote, businesses will always find a way to promote their brands and products on these sites.

One thing we can be certain about in this ever-changing times is there will always be a demand for digital marketing. Especially when it comes to promoting eCommerce websites and brands online, a digital marketing team is always on the front-lines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the many aspects of digital marketing. And it’s a must-have skill for all kinds of marketers, including bloggers and writers. Learning how to optimize a script, a blog post, or website copy to rank higher on Google is a skill that’s often required by many jobs.

Recommended Class: Introduction to SEO

seo course

This class on Skillshare by Rand Fishkin offers great insight into how SEO works and offers a great start for you to learn more about digital marketing. As well as to how the web works.

4. Data Science

A friend of mine recently pointed out to me how powerful data science as a skill can be. It’s one of the future-proof skills that will only be in more demand in the coming years.

Every business, brand, or startup collects different types of data. Such as customer data, sales statistics, competitor assessments, target audience reports, customer engagement data, etc. Data scientists take all this data and help businesses understand what they all mean. And help create projections and assessments for the business’ future.

Data science is actually much more complex than that. But, it’s a skill will help you build a long-lasting career. However, much like learning to code, this skill is very difficult to learn. You’ll also need a good knowledge of maths as well.

Recommended Class: Data Science and Machine Learning with Python

data science course

Check out this class if you’re interested in getting into data science.

5. Social Media Marketing & Management 

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing in the modern age. Why? Because influencers on social networking sites have such a strong influence over their followers that when they recommend a product, their followers don’t hesitate to buy it. 

This new trend in digital marketing has made social media marketing another useful skill to learn. Learning how to market products and promote brands on social networking sites is a skill you can learn quite easily using online courses.

You can also learn about social media management. In which you help businesses and brands help manage their accounts more effectively and propose strategies to grow their social channels even better.

Recommended Class: Social Media Marketing Masterclass

social media marketing course

These classes on Skillshare will help you get into social media marketing. They are also very easy to understand and beginner-friendly.

6. Copywriting

Copywriting is certainly one of the must-have skills for almost all types of professionals.

Whether you’re a digital marketer, social media manager, or even a graphic designer, having the skill to properly handle words will help make your work much more effective.

You can also pursue a career as a copywriter. Thankfully, there are many different areas you can explore as a copywriter like website copywriting, blogging, eBook writing, product copywriting, and more.

Recommended Class: Copywriting For Beginners

copywriting course

Use this amazing class to get into the art of copywriting.

7. Product Design

Product Design is also a field that covers many aspects. But, to be more specific, product packaging design is a skill that has a high demand on online freelance marketplaces.

As you know, the packaging of a product is what drives people to buy it. The product packaging designer’s job is to help businesses design attractive packaging for their products.

This skill requires knowledge of many technical aspects of how packaging works for different kinds of products. But it’s one that’s worth exploring. 

It’s also worth mentioning that UX design, copywriting, and digital marketing also play important roles in product design as well.

Recommended Class: How to Launch Successful Products

product design course

This is a very beginner-friendly class you can take on Skillshare to learn about product design.

Conclusion 

When it comes to applying for jobs online, you need to be patient. Don’t rush to apply for jobs. Instead, take time to develop a skill set that compliments each other. It will help you deliver better results. And eventually, land high paying jobs with satisfied clients who will give you long term contracts. 

Keep learning and never stop improving your skills. 

Roshan Perera
I’m Roshan Jerad Perera, a freelance writer/blogger and the founder at FreelancingHacks.com. My goal is to help other people get started in freelancing and guide them toward a successful career and financial freedom.
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