Gone are the days when we need to rely on a degree to get a good income. Thanks to the opportunities offered by the internet, many individuals can now get high-income skills without going to college.
But not every skill you find on the internet can become a lucrative career, so which one of them do you go for without wasting time and money?
In this article, I have listed the top seven high-demand skills you can learn, to land an above-average salary.
Of course, you don’t need to start learning all of them. But it pays to be an expert in at least one, so you can propel your career and achieve your income goals.
Ready? Let’s Fly!
The Value of Learning a High-Income Skill
High-income skills are professional knowledge and task-related abilities that can help you achieve a six-figure annual salary.
The definition of this term can vary depending on your location since living expenses can differ. But generally, a six-figure yearly salary can be an excellent benchmark to define high-income skills.
If a six-figure paycheck isn’t enough to convince you why you should learn high-income skills, then there are more things you can expect from them.
First, these skills can offer you excellent job security, which is tough to find in the ever-changing job market. They also have high demand, so if you do not like your current role, it can be much easier to find another job.
It helps if you have a great portfolio and skillset that can look appealing to other companies.
But wait, there’s more!
In addition to a steadily increased paycheck, high-income skills can offer you the flexibility that no other skills can.
If you enjoy working in an office setup, you can use these skills to work as an employee for a company. But suppose you realize that a 9 to 5 setup isn’t the right fit for you. In that case, you can easily do your own thing.
Having high-income skills can help you gain control over your career trajectory. And as long as you continue improving your skills, you can have a steady six-figure paycheck and the freedom to do whatever and from wherever you want, careerwise.
How Do You Develop High-Income Skills?
There are many ways you can develop high-income skills. However, it would be beneficial if you had patience and dedication to fully grasp one skill first before moving on to the next.
You don’t just learn how to do one skill overnight. You need to put in the time and effort. If you’re ready to want to learn new skills, here’s how you can develop one:
Take Advantage of Free Resources.
In this day and age of technology, a lot of information is free to access. As I mentioned above, learning high-income skills is a commitment.
If you spend money right off the bat, you might waste it if you realize it’s not something you want to do. So, the first step you must take is to see how committed you can be to learning the skill.
You can try platforms like Fiverr Learning, LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy, and other sites that offer free courses. This will give you an idea of what you’re up for and challenge you to see if it’s a good fit.
You can also use YouTube to learn high-income skills. There are so many hidden gems you can find that can provide you with the training you need.
If you’re interested in a blogging career (my favorite type of high-income skill) take a look at my ultimate guide on how to start a blog (it’s free!).
Enroll in a Paid Course.
After you’ve exhausted all the free content you can find, you may want to take it a bit further and invest in paid courses that can give you value for your money.
A lot of online courses only offer basic training on their free content. If you want to learn more and be an expert in your chosen skill, you must be willing to pay.
High-income skills often require a certain amount of investment before you master them.
However, knowing the ROI (return on investment) you will get from investing in a paid course could make you more competitive once it’s completed.
So, if you’re already committed to learning, it’s not a bad idea to throw in a few bucks to get started and sharpen your skills even further.
Just make sure that you buy courses from trusted experts and not just websites that try to sell you systems that you can easily learn for free. Do your homework and research before enrolling, especially if it requires a significant amount of money.
Consider Formal Training.
Some high-income skills require formal training to acquire the abilities you need to succeed in the field. For example, if you decide to study software engineering or software development, you need hands-on coding experience.
It’s not enough to master a programming language; you must also understand the ins and outs of the industry.
With skills like this, getting into a boot camp is a practical approach, especially if you’re a career shifter and know nothing about the industry.
At the same time, there are boot camps that don’t ask for monetary payments from students, which is perfect if you can’t pay for premium courses.
Look for a Mentor.
Another way to fast-track your success in learning a high-income skill is to find a mentor. The job market is competitive, and it can be tough to start on your own.
A mentor can help structure a plan for your chosen career, prepare you for any mistakes you might make, guide you to make the right decisions, and offer encouragement if you find yourself lacking of motivation.
You can even find someone you know that became successful in the field to help you get inspired to achieve the same. A mentor will come in handy, especially when you think your chosen skill isn’t lucrative enough.
Find an Internship or Entry Level Job.
As the saying goes, “experience is the best teacher”. This also applies to learning a high-income skill. To continue building your knowledge, you need to have firsthand experience of what it feels like to use the skill in real life.
Of course, the first internship or job may not be what you think it will be. It probably won’t pay as much as you thought it would. But you have got to start somewhere.
It also allows you to get paid while learning a skill, which is still a win-win if you ask me!
Your first job may not be your dream job, but it will surely pay off. Be patient, and you’ll get there.
Many people may say that getting certified is a waste of time, effort, and money. In my opinion, they’re just getting the wrong certifications. Getting a certificate for a skill you’re learning can be very beneficial, especially if competing with candidates with a college degree.
You don’t need to get one immediately, but it will help to add extra value to your overall skills.
For example, if you want to learn about search engine optimization, you can get certified with Google. This allows future employers and clients to know that you understand the search engine and how it works.
While it’s not an assurance that you will get noticed, it can make your resume more appealing.
The 7 Best High-income Skills to Learn
The great thing about these skills is that they can be used in many careers. So if you end up not liking your chosen field, you can use it in other jobs.
With that said, here are the top 7 high-income skills to learn this year.
1. Content Marketing.
Many people will encourage you to learn digital marketing as everything is “going digital” now. However, digital marketing is such a broad field, and many can get lost in it without proper guidance.
So, if you want to learn digital marketing, content marketing should be the first skill you need to understand.
Content marketing is a category of digital marketing used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating different kinds of content such as videos, articles, podcasts, and other media.
It’s an essential part of the digital marketing umbrella that helps promote brand awareness and helps them get ahead in today’s competitive market.
Because of its significance in the overall digital marketing strategy, it is currently one of the most in-demand skills in the world. Both small businesses and enterprises require content marketing, so you know there’s always a place for you in the digital world.
Content marketing requires creativity and curiosity. You need to be able to tell stories in a way that can capture your target audience. You also need to be curious about the market and learn what works for them and not.
Once you’ve mastered this high-income skill, you can have more flexibility with your career. And if you love creating different content, why not make money out of it?
2. Video Editing.
If you’ve been hanging out on the internet, you know that video content has become vital to many companies’ marketing strategies. This does not only apply to businesses; even individuals who want to be famous on the internet are venturing into videos.
In fact, there are 51 million YouTube channels to date, which shows how many people are taking advantage of this content format.
While that number does not signify the demand for this skill, it just shows the endless potential of having it in your portfolio.
The best part?
Employers won’t look for a college degree if you apply for a position looking for this skill. All you need is a good portfolio that shows your talent, and you’re set.
Another thing that makes this a high-income skill is that it doesn’t lock you in a single industry. Every sector will require video at some point, so you’re sure to find a place within the competitive market.
So, if you are interested in video content, this could be a good option. But remember that this may require a significant investment as video editing software generally requires a powerful computer.
Although you may need an expensive device to master this skill, the income is substantial enough to cover whatever initial investment you might have.
3. Web Development and Web Design.
Many businesses are now seeing the potential of the internet (yes, there are still plenty of businesses not online!) and realizing that having a website can add considerable value to their growth.
That’s why the demand for web developers is growing, making web development and web design high-income skills.
There are also different approaches to learning this skill. If you like to learn how to code, you can be a back-end web developer mainly focusing on the processes and actions of the website.
If you enjoy designing, you can study web design. Another thing that you could learn is UX design. This branch of web development focuses on user experience, ensuring the website is usable and accessible to users.
Web development isn’t just about learning how to code. Often, it’s about mastering specific tools like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and other website builders that allow you to create sites through a drag-and-drop interface.
Lastly, the earning potential is limitless. Because of the demand for websites, you can take on as many projects as you like, create an agency to cater to many clients, and even do freelancing if your career goals include having flexibility with your schedule.
4. Software Development.
One of the best high-income skills to learn is software development. Similar to web development, there’s an increasing demand for software right now, which will keep growing.
However, soft skills like problem-solving are required to ensure success in this field.
The average salary of a software developer is $77,200 in 2020, with the highest paid developer getting up to $107,620.
However, this skill requires more commitment than any other high-income skill on this list.
First, software development teaching is traditionally taught in colleges. This means that you’ll be competing with other developers in the field that have dedicated four or more years of their lives to mastering this skill.
If you don’t want to get a college degree (after all, that’s what this post is about), you can still become a software developer. However, be committed and push yourself to understand the ins and outs of the field.
If you’re not, it will be hard to break into the industry.
Learning this skill can make it valuable in the long run. Sure, you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort, but the earning potential on the other end is substantial, especially if you know what you’re doing.
So, if you love solving problems and don’t mind a little bit (or a lot more) of math, then start learning this craft.
5. Project Management.
If you have soft skills like communication and organizational skills, it’s a good idea to learn project management. Unlike the other high-income skills I’ve mentioned, this doesn’t require much technical knowledge.
So what exactly is a project manager?
A project manager is responsible for organizing, planning, and directing the completion of projects in a given timeframe. This can mean arranging schedules, organizing budgets, and communicating with different project stakeholders involved in the project.
A project manager is often needed in creating software, so if you’ve been studying software development but do not like the technicalities involved, project management is a good fallback.
While being a project manager may not be your end goal, project management can be applied in many careers and can help you earn a high income in the long run.
6. Search Engine Optimization.
Google is a massive part of everyone’s lives. If you want to know something, most of the time, we just “Google it”. Have you ever wondered how websites get into the first page of this search engine?
It’s got to do with search engine optimization (SEO). So why not master this high-income skill too?
SEO is now a critical part of digital marketing. Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google’s search results as it has proven to increase sales for both online and offline businesses.
This means there will always be a demand for this skill as long as Google still stands.
One thing you’d love about this skill is that it doesn’t require you to go to college. Anyone can learn it from the many different resources you’ll find online. Google even offers its own SEO course and certification, which can help you get a foot in the door.
You can also learn this skill while you work. Once you get certified and land a job, you can continue learning and mastering this skill. Most companies don’t require their SEO specialist to report to the office, so you have the freedom to control your schedule.
7. Social Media Marketing.
Last but not least is social media marketing. The amount of time people spend on social media is insane, and many companies capitalize on this.
This means that some businesses will want to add social media marketing into their overall marketing efforts, so that’s good news if you are looking for a new skill.
It’s also probably one of the most straightforward high-income skills to learn, given that many people are already familiar with social media and how it works.
However, social media marketing is much more than posting content online, which you’ll learn once you get started in this skill.
The average salary of social media marketer may not be as high as the others on this list, but what it does offer is the flexibility and stability that everyone wants in a job.
The initial investment in learning this skill is also low, so it’s one of those skills you want in your resume to land a high-paying job.
There are also plenty of other high-income skills that didn’t make it into my list, like copywriting and sales. But I think they’re overhyped, and there are other skills you can learn that can make you stand out in a fierce job market and still earn a high enough income.
Just remember, you don’t learn these skills overnight. You need to be really dedicated to truly be an expert in them. These skills will also future-proof you, especially as the world fully embraces the digital space.
Which skill are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s time to be the pilot of your life and not just the passenger.
Chris Bournelis is a blogger, search engine optimization, and content marketing specialist. He has been working in the online business since 2015. Join him here at ChrisBournelis.com for the best SaaS reviews and tips to get the most out of your online business.