This article originally appeared on RickOrford.com and has been republished with permission.
Some jobs pay more than others. The ability to take advantage of a particular career path may depend on the ability to learn specific skills. Some people have the aptitude for landing high-paying careers, but first you’ll need to see if you can learn what employers would call “high-income skills.”
We’ll talk about how you can learn some of these skills in the following article.
Examples of High Income Skills
If you can learn a particular skill that allows you to do a job that an employer will pay you well for, you will be in good shape to search for a suitable position. Gaining most of these skills will also not make you part of the growing number of people with student debt who must turn to student debt consolidation to survive. Some of the options for developing high income skills will cost money, but there are also free resources you can take advantage of.
We will now talk about some examples of high income skills. If you can learn any of these, you should find a job without too much trouble.
1. Video editing
More companies than ever are learning how to make videos about their services and products. YouTube’s popularity is part of why they do it, but there are several other social media platforms where companies can offer promotional videos.
They will always need someone to edit these videos, so there is a huge demand for talented video editors. You can seek full-time editing work or work as a freelancer, so there is some flexibility. It’s also a position that rarely requires a college degree, although it might be useful on your resume.
2. Project management
Project management is a skill that involves organizational and communication skills. If you can master the fundamentals of project management, that means you can be valuable to many types of organizations. You can oversee multiple teams while managing multiple aspects of a company’s creative process.
It’s a skill set that can take you far in life. The only possible downside is that this is a job title where a company will likely seek a master’s degree from an accredited university.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you can master this skill, you can potentially make a very good living. This is another skill where you can work for a single company full-time, or you can work for different entities as a freelancer.
If you know SEO, you can make a company’s website rank high in Google’s search engine if someone searches for certain terms. This can be extremely valuable to businesses, so they’ll be willing to pay you top dollar if you manage to get their site to appear in Google’s top results.
SEO usually involves working with tools that tell you what terms to use when writing copy for websites. Sometimes using the correct language and other website elements can make all the difference when trying to rank a site.
4. Web design
Like SEO, web design is something almost every business needs these days. If you hear about a company and want to learn more about it, the first thing you’ll probably do is research their website. Someone needs to design these sites, and that’s where a web designer comes in.
Web design skills come when you learn to use a platform like WordPress or Wix. You can create a website using a template and add details based on how a client wants the site to look. Web design is great if you want to do something lucrative with computers, but don’t have the patience or aptitude to learn a coding language.
5. Software engineering
This brings us to the next possibility, software engineering. If you learn to code, you can create software. Many companies want a bespoke software system, especially if they have proprietary secrets they are trying to protect.
Many employers don’t require you to have a four-year college degree if you can demonstrate your software-building skills to them. Going to college can certainly help, but many software engineers learned to code without ever going to school.
Of all the skill sets we’ve mentioned, software engineering is potentially the most lucrative, with the possible exception of project management. It’s not uncommon at all for a software engineer to earn $100,000 a year, while the best in the field might earn double that.
Related reading: Employment opportunities during COVID-19
How to develop these skills
We’ve talked about a few skill sets you could develop that will allow you to have a successful side hustle or even a very profitable career. Now let’s talk about some ways to learn some of these skills.
1. Take formal classes
Taking formal classes is always a way to go. For example, if you wanted to learn something like software engineering, you could sign up for a software “boot camp.” They usually take around 12 weeks and the cheapest ones usually cost a few thousand dollars. It may seem expensive, but you could consider it an investment in your future.
If you were interested in something like video editing or project management, attending a four-year college is definitely something you might want to consider. To do this, you will need to find money. Student loans are a popular option if you don’t have enough savings or don’t have help from a parent to cover tuition.
Read more: 10 ways to save money on your start-up business
Finding a mentor can also be helpful if you are targeting one of the careers or skills we have mentioned. This should speed up your learning considerably.
To find a mentor to help you in your chosen field, you can research online forums and communities. You can also search using social media. There are often free meetups where companies try to match mentors with mentees.
3. Use free resources
We talked about taking courses that will cost you money, either courses like software boot camps or formal four-year college courses. However, if you don’t want to go that route, finding and using free resources is probably your best bet.
The first and probably the main resource you could use is YouTube. There are videos out there that can teach you how to do almost anything. Some of them may be more useful than others, but if you’re looking for how to learn a particular skill, you’ll most likely find tutorials there.
You can also find other social media platforms where you can consume free content that teaches you any of the skill sets we mentioned. For example, sometimes you can find valuable content on TikTok, Dailymotion, Twitter, or Vimeo that can help you learn some of the skills we’ve covered in this article.
4. Find an internship
Another option if you are trying to develop a high income skill set would be to find an internship. The internships are free of charge, but their main advantage is that you will have the chance to learn a skill in a practical way. You will also be surrounded by individuals who have succeeded in the niche where you are trying to establish yourself.
The trick with an internship is finding a way to support yourself while you simultaneously do that job, which you won’t get paid for. It’s tough, but if you live with parents or roommates, it can help you be more frugal until you finish the internship with the new skills you learned. At this point, you will probably be able to find yourself a better paying job.
Related reading: How to ask for a promotion at work
Developing high income skills is possible
Now you know some high income skills you might want to consider, depending on the niche you are interested in. You could learn some SEO skills or how to code. You could master project management skills, learn how to edit videos, or get into web design.
Some of these skills will allow you to work for just one company, but with several of them, you could work as a freelancer if that seems like a better option for achieving a healthy work-life balance.
If you want to learn these skills, you could find an internship with a company that is willing to help you. You can use free resources such as YouTube or various other social media platforms, as there are often helpful tutorial-type videos.
You might find a mentor who can help you develop skills in a particular industry or niche that interests you. You may also be interested in traditional four-year colleges or other more formal classes.
Developing any of the high income skills we mentioned is a way to succeed in life. Any of those mentioned in this article can be part of a very profitable career if you know how to exploit them in the right way.