Published on July 5, 2021

Learning New Skills: 10 In-Demand Skills To Learn Online

Learning New Skills: 10 In-Demand Skills To Learn Online

The world evolves around us faster than ever before. Technology, medicine, our understanding of human behavior, and psychology—these are some of the many fields making giant leaps year over year. In that context, it’s pretty evident that our initial formal education is no longer enough to sustain our place in this fast-paced world, which makes learning new skills more important than ever.

That is why it’s critical not only to identify those fields and skills that are in high demand in general but also to be very specific at matching those skills with your strengths and existing knowledge. By extending that already-present base, you give yourself a chance to quickly step forward and grow so you can keep up with the pace.

But it’s also a great idea to look above and beyond your circle of comfort. Many skills might seem intimidating at first because they appear too daunting and outside of your comfort zone. You might be scared of even thinking about them because you are afraid that you might find yourself stuck or fail if you start on that road.

Here’s the good news: everyone has those thoughts, and you did, too, before. You had them in first grade about reading and in fifth grade about algebra. Everything new in life was scary at some point. Once you realize that, taking on a new field won’t seem so intimidating.

There’s such a myriad of skills out there, and many of them are in high demand. By allocating time, learning new skills, and putting deliberate efforts into tackling one or more of these fields, you give yourself an extra chance to uncover new passions in life. Along with that, you might find new ways to earn a living or simply live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

Below are ten skills you can easily tackle with online courses, whether live or self-paced. Each one of them is in high demand today in different ways. When learning new skills, you don’t have to try them all. Instead, chose the ones that resonate more with you, and go for them!

1. Writing

When people hear about writing, they immediately think about authoring novels or non-fiction books. But there’s a lot more to writing than that. You probably write every day—at your job, when you post something on Facebook, or when you write an email, personal or not. Writing is everywhere, and enhancing this skill will improve your communication in all aspects of life.


Some of the best areas of writing you can easily sharpen with an online course are brevity and clarity, grammar, structure, and formatting. Just remember that your personal selling tool—your resume—is also in writing. The better you are at it, the more chances you give it to stand out.

2. Foreign Languages

Globalization is here to stay, and the more our civilization evolves, the more the cultural boundaries begin to merge. That is not in the sense of muddling those boundaries or experiencing a loss of self but in the sense of combining toward betterment.

Cultures bond and borrow the good from one another while also learning from each other’s experiences and perspectives. That’s why learning a foreign language will put you ahead of the pack. In addition, scientific research has shown that learning a second language improves your brain and critical thinking.[1]

3. Coding

For most people who haven’t dabbed into computer programming, the word coding is just as scary as a spacewalk. It sounds alien and downright impossible to grasp. The reality is that today’s coding is no longer the cryptic assembly language where you had to learn how to speak in the dialect of the computer chip. Today, programming languages are more approachable because they employ visual editors and use words closer to our natural language to describe the available functions and variables.

Most code editors are free, and there are dozens of free online courses for all levels that can teach you the basics of programming languages, such as PHP, C#, Javascript, or Visual Basic. With guided tutorials where you get to program side by side with the teacher, you’ll be able to write your first “Hello, World!” program in no time.

4. Design

Design is everywhere around us, and it influences our choices, our decisions, and our actions. Someone designed the website and the article you’re reading right now. Someone else designed the monitor you’re looking at and the chair you’re sitting in. You acquired those items because of their functional value, on the one hand, but also based on their look and feel.

When you learn how to adapt your work visually to make it more appealing, you gain a skill that will set you apart from the rest. It can be as simple as learning how to design Powerpoint presentations better or make beautiful Excel charts. It could be learning how to format your resume in a pleasing way to the eye or create a color scheme for your blog that will make people want to hang around to read it.


Design can be complicated, but its basics are not. With a few online classes, you can easily brush your knowledge of design, start applying it to your job or hobbies, and make your work stand out.

5. Data Analysis

According to Statista, by 2025, we can expect to have about 180 zettabytes of digital data.[2] If that doesn’t mean much, know that one zettabyte is the equivalent of one billion hard drives of one terabyte each or the amount of all grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. That sounds scary, but it’s reality. The world is moving at light speed toward more and more data every day.

Everything that ever existed in an analog form is being converted to digital, and this process will continue and accelerate. That is why learning how to understand data, analyze it, and draw conclusions from it is a crucial skill that will be more and more in demand.

The great thing is that the basic methods and systems to analyze data can be understood and learned from online courses and books and then applied to any amount of data that comes your way. With improved data analysis skills, you’ll make better judgments at your job or even use that knowledge in some areas of your personal life, such as investing.

6. Presentation

Presentation skills are more than just a beautiful Powerpoint presentation. They are a combination of speaking, visualization, and personality. When you present something, a part of your presentation comes from the material you prepared (text, visual, audio), and another part comes from you, the presenter. Getting a good grip on both aspects will make you a more effective presenter.

This kind of skill is applicable at your job and in other situations where you might be required to present. Maybe it’s a seminar you are teaching or a speech you have to make in the context of a community you are a part of. Either way, there are dozens of courses available online that will help you polish these skills and start using them in the real world. Combining design skills with presentation and communication skills is a killer combination that will truly catapult you ahead of the pack.

7. Sales

From the moment we apply to college until our last job, we never stop selling. We constantly sell our skills, knowledge, and ideas to those around us. Learning how to sell means improving your expertise in many other areas, such as communication, reading and understating other people, persuasion, and presentation.


Improving your selling skills will also help sharpen your negotiation skills. You can apply those in your day-to-day life, even in personal situations such as buying a new car or a new house. When you learn sales, you improve how you listen and talk to people, how to present your ideas clearly and concisely, and how to be more persuasive.

It doesn’t matter what kind of profession you have, you’re always selling something, which is why improving your sales skills will give you a critical edge everywhere in the world.

8. Artificial Intelligence

I know that artificial intelligence sounds like you’d be building robots ready to take over the world, but it’s not that—at least not for the time being.

Artificial Intelligence refers to using machines—or computers, in this case—and leveraging their massive computation power to analyze large data sets, identify patterns, and predict the evolution of different phenomena. Although the field itself is exceptionally vast and can get very complicated, there are areas of artificial intelligence that you can grasp from online courses and use in your day-to-day job to improve your effectiveness.

Machine learning algorithms consume data and apply different patterns to predict and estimate the future. These become very important if your job involves data and future uncertainty. You probably won’t be able to use this to win the lottery, but it will help you in your career and, perhaps, even in some hobbies.

9. Video Production

Obviously, video is not new. What is new is that with a relatively simple piece of software, you can edit a clip taken with your phone and make it look as professional as any true professional would do. You can see this phenomenon on YouTube and other video platforms out there where the users drive the content.

Video editing and production are no longer restricted to large studios and lots of employees. Some of the most successful YouTube creators use a camera, a microphone, and a laptop, and the results are fantastic.


Having this skill under your belt will not only set you apart when it comes to your profession, but it will also allow you to branch out into other hobbies, such as vlogging or taking interviews.

10. Mobile App Development

“There’s an app for that” is no longer a cliché saying because it’s almost true. As of 2020, there were more than four million apps available for download between Google Play and the Apple Store. That’s an impressive number. If you search for just about anything and add the word “app” at the end, you’re bound to find an app that does that.

That means that wherever you go and whatever you do, there will always be a need to create and use apps. The great news is that the app development industry realized this long ago and worked hard to make it effortless for developers to create apps. Nowadays, some simple drag-and-drop editors will produce an app that can work across multiple platforms in just a few clicks. Within a few hours of an online course, you could be building your very first mobile app.

It could be something for your hobbies, your own business, or even something you can propose at your current job. Just having that skill on your resume will open many more doors and open you up to many more opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Life is a never-ending circle of accumulating knowledge, followed by applying that knowledge in the real world and gaining insights and wisdom in the process. Skills are the building blocks of your performance. Although it’s never a good idea to do and try to be everything at once, you should always attempt to learn new skills that are in high demand, even if they are outside of your comfort zone.

Maybe you won’t tackle them all. Perhaps you’ll never become the master of any, but just the sheer fact that you start learning will give you a chance to discover new things that you could grow to love. That’s how passions get built, so why not attempt to find passions in things that are already in demand?

You’d only give yourself an extra chance to succeed in your profession and personal life.


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Iulian Ionescu

Passionate about self-growth and productivity

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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

23 Killer Sites for Free Online Education Anyone Can Use

Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless. Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent, free online education awaits on the following 23 sites.

1. Coursera

Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups. However, the free courses are now quite limited, so you’ll have to

2. Khan Academy

Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well-organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

Among the more well-known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly user-friendly, which may make it easier to keep learning goals. If you’re looking for a free online education, you can’t go wrong with Khan Academy.

3. Open Culture Online Courses

If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos, and podcasts from universities around the world.

The site features a lot of material found only on universities’ private sites, all in easy-to-browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses without having to visit and search each university’s site.

Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales, and many state universities around the United States. It’s a very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

4. Udemy 

Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.


Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top-quality content. This is another site, however, that mixes free and paid content.

5. Lifehack Fast Track Class

Lifehack believes in skills that multiply your time, energy, and overall quality of life.

In this rapidly changing world, traditional education skills just don’t cut it anymore. You can’t afford to take years learning a skill you’ll never really practice. Besides offering some paid courses that will help you become a better self, it offers a list of free courses which aim to train some of the Core Life Multipliers including:

These are cross-functional skills that work across many aspects of life.

6. Academic Earth

Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

7. edX

Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics from universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley, meaning a high-quality, free online education is entirely possible here.

8. Alison

Unlike the previous sites on this list, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

It’s a great option if users need a professional certificate for their learning, as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

9. iTunesU Free Courses

A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.


Desktop users can access iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including by genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos and paid content.

iTunesU does include courses on a variety of topics, but it does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

10. Stanford Online

Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session-based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

Stanford Online is a great site for high-quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school. If you’re looking for free courses, make sure to mark the “free” option on the left-hand side.

11. Open Yale Courses

Open Yale Courses echoes Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses but learn better by watching than by reading.

12. UC Berkeley Class Central

Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but it includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts, and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

13. MIT OpenCourseWare

Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, and it includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list. However, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics, but for the topics that are covered, impressive, in-depth material is available.

15. Codecademy

Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.


The courses at Codecademy are well-written and easy to follow, and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, and it organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

16. Code

Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high-quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

In addition to kid-friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics, and Javascript.

Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

17. University of Oxford Podcasts

The University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. This is another great site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

18. BBC Podcasts

For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

19. TED-Ed

Another great destination for more general learning and free online education is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all-encompassing, motivational web series comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, but it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.


20. LessonPaths

LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high-quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

21. Memrise

Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

22. National Geographic Kids

The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid-friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keep kids interested on this site.

National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

23. Fun Brain

Fun Brain is another great option for kids looking for free online education, as it focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game-based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and it is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

The Bottom Line

With so many amazing free online education resources, everyone has the ability to boost their skills and knowledge. Whether you’re interested in picking up some interesting trivia for your next party, improve your resume with some coding or business skills, or become a more well-rounded person, these resources are perfect for you.

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