It’s never too late to learn a new skill. It’s also never been easier and more accessible. With just one quick search, you can find thousands of online courses, video tutorials, and guides to help you learn some of the most valuable skills in today’s job market.
With everyone spending a little bit more time at home these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can spend your increased at-home time learning these in-demand professional skills to become more competitive in your market or change career paths completely. In fact, you could join the hundreds of thousands of other people who took advantage of this extra time at home to gain more skills. According to LinkedIn, professionals spent 130% more time learning new skills around the start of the pandemic than they did in the months before.
Check out these five professional skills you can develop from the comfort of your home.
Writing is an essential skill in practically any field, from marketing and advertising to entrepreneurship to healthcare to engineering to the online gambling industry. While what you write in each field can vary widely from one field to the next, being able to form cohesive thoughts into a piece of writing for others to read is a valuable skill that’s not likely to lose importance any time soon. And while you take your course, you can apply these skills to your blog so you have a portfolio of pieces to share with employers and clients.
One way to improve your writing skills at home is to take an online course in writing, whether that be writing in general, storytelling and creative writing, copywriting, technical writing, content writing…the list is endless. You can find a wide variety of online writing courses taught by professional writers of all sorts of backgrounds. Head to Skillshare, where skilled professionals share their skills through online lectures, or sites like Coursera and EdX, which host online courses from notable universities around the world.
Programming comes in many forms: web design, app development, And even if you don’t want to become a programmer, understanding the fundamentals of digital design, coding languages, analysis, and more related skills can help you with many everyday and blogging tasks. These skills can help you become a more adept internet user, strengthen your research and analysis skills, and transform your blog’s functionality and appearance.
Codecademy is a robust platform offering a variety of coding classes, from web development to data science to practical language-specific lessons. What’s more is that you can take some of the basic courses for free, and when you upgrade to their premium platform, you get access to more advanced courses, portfolio projects, certificates you can proudly display, and even full course catalogs that can prepare you for a whole new career.
Search engine optimization is the ability to research trending keywords and topics, use them in websites to promote user traffic, and get websites found more easily by Googlers (and those who search with other search engines, too). While you can master this skill and become a professional SEO, you can also use this skill to improve your blog’s or website’s content and get more site visitors. And if you’re trying to monetize your blog, SEO is definitely the way to go.
Start learning the basics of SEO by reading up on resources from leading SEO tools like Yoast, Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMRush. A few of these tools, like Yoast and SEMRush also have online “academies” where you can read guides, watch lessons, and certify yourself in all things SEO through their platforms. If you’re looking for other ways to learn SEO, you can find awesome courses on Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning.
You’ve probably seen ads pop up on Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn, advertising everything from beauty products, clothes, and housewares to technology to educational programs. But creating eye-catching ads is just one part of social media marketing. Other aspects of this skill include managing an account, engaging with followers, creating platform-specific posts, and analyzing metrics, among many others. And having social media marketing skills can help you switch to a digital marketing career and run a fantastic social media account to drive followers to your blog.
Since this skill is so in demand, you can find thousands of social media courses and online resources to help you learn from home. Consider Coursera, where you can take a social media basics course from Northwestern University. HubSpot marketing platform has a completely free online academy where you can get certified in social media marketing and using their platform. If you’re more into reading helpful guides, check out the robust “Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide” from SearchEngine Journal.
Being able to coordinate people and resources, manage timelines, and oversee progress make up the foundation of project management. And while you may be doing that already — getting kids ready for school, leading a volunteer group, or managing your blog and social media — taking some courses can give you a solid foundation in project management principles and processes that can take your skills to the next level.
You can take courses on Udemy and LinkedIn Learning. But if you’re looking for a certification, Google, with the help of Coursera, developed their own project management certification you can take to develop these skills. Or, take a program through the Project Management Institute, the industry’s leading professional training organization for project management.
And when you start your own blog, you put many of those skills to work without thinking too much about it. That means you’re learning how to use those skills in real-world environments without having to leave home. Not to mention regularly posting on your blog can show prospective employers or clients that you’ve got proof of those project management chops…how else would the content get published if you didn’t do it all yourself?
What’s great about these online skill-building programs and resources is that you can complete your training in your own time, at your own pace. And while you can trust everything from the internet, there are many trustworthy platforms that offer high-quality learning resources that are now more accessible than ever. Now, all you have to do is decide which skill you want to learn first.