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5 In-Demand Skills That Can Be Mastered Online

5 In-Demand Skills That Can Be Mastered Online

Today’s workplace is not like that of our mothers and fathers. Our parents would pick a single career, like an accountant, lawyer, or teacher, and continue with that role and position for the rest of their life. However, in the last 10-15 years the landscape of employment has changed drastically. Trends in technology have eroded many of what used to be considered reliable and durable career paths, and two boom and bust economic cycles have made hundreds of thousands of people redundant and forced them to seek new careers.

However, that does not mean the jobs have disappeared — they have simply shifted to other sectors. The truth is there are millions of job vacancies that are available right now if you have the right skill sets. And with advances in modern technology, these skills are all accessible through online courses from the confines of your own home. So consider these following 5 options to add some more durability to your resume.

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learn-online

    Your future career may be on your desktop.

    Math, Statistics and Data Analysis

    Big data is now the next frontier for business innovation. With advances in technology the amount of data available is growing exponentially and it’s sweeping into most sectors and businesses. Thus, companies and individuals that are able to harness, organize, and analyze these mega-sets of data stand to benefit greatly. Consequently, a strong foundation in arithmetic, geometry, algebra, statistics, and calculus is extremely valuable. Those who feel like they missed this boat need not worry because websites like Khan Academy do a great job providing quality instruction for free.

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    Khan Academy

      Cloud Computing

      One of the major changes in technology is the move from local hosting to cloud-hosted services. Maybe you have heard some of the major buzzwords, virtualization, software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). Essentially what they all mean is that all those space-, labor-, and money-consuming local servers that contain tons of data — and which if broken could take down a company — are all moving to the cloud where storage is safer and cheaper.

      One of the most popular cloud based services is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. To help support this trend, there is a huge demand for people with cloud computing and SaaS knowledge. If this piques your interest, ALISON.com offers a free introductory course to cloud computing.

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      Cloud computing

        Logistics

        In a tough economy, logistics, also known as the science of supply chain management, is a crucial tool for product-based companies. It is the responsibility of the supply chain manager to minimize the cost of sourcing raw materials, production and distribution of consumer products. Essentially, the supply chain manager is a combination of a bargain hunter and cost cutter, looking to source materials from countries with lower manufacturing costs, and trying to find the cheapest way to get the raw materials to the factory and finished goods to the consumer. With the emergence of e-commerce players like Zappos and Amazon, logistics have never been more important, thus those with knowledge of logistics are in high demand. If that sounds interesting then you can you can enroll in free college-level logistics courses from MIT’s Engineering department via its OpenCourseWare platform.

        MIT’s Engineering department

          Digital Marketing

          Just about every major business area has undergone massive changes in the last ten years and marketing is no different. If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, print is dying and online marketing is the future. So, more than ever, businesses need people who understand the landscape of online marketing, which covers Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media.

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          In simple layman’s terms: SEO helps businesses get found online; content marketing is all about creating valuable content that people want to share; and social media is a platform to share valuable content and engage with consumers. It’s pretty tough to be a whiz in all of these areas, but if you pick one area and become a champ in it, you will definitely be a valuable asset. Hubspot Academy is a great place to start for an excellent primer in online marketing. At the completion of the course series, you are also eligible to receive a certification in Inbound Marketing, all for free!

          Hubspot

            Programming Languages

            This may be a no-brainer, but we would be remiss not to mention it. Computers are getting faster and smaller, and more and more applications are coming out that make our lives easier. People want more apps for their personal computers and smartphones, so it’s no surprise that demand for programmers is sky-high. It used to be that programming was for geeks and losers, but now programming is cool, and programmers are the new rock stars. There are a ton of languages to choose from — Objective C, Python, PHP, Ruby, HTML, Java — and specializing in just one is probably enough to get you in the door to an entry-level job. But wait, you have no experience? You can get started with free interactive tutorials at Codeacademy.

            Learn to code interactively, for free.

              The World Is Your Oyster

              Yes folks, the world of employment is changing, but that does not have to be a scary thing. Embrace those changes and move with the times. The sands of the employment landscape are moving quickly and you don’t want to get stuck under a mountain. Prepare yourself for the new workforce by learning skills that are in demand now. The truth is that these are just the tip of the iceberg, with a little research you can probably uncover some other in-demand skill sets that can help you land your next job. The best part is there are free resources available to help you master any skill. So what are you waiting for? Pick your passion, get skilled up, and get employed!

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              Last Updated on July 29, 2020

              19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

              19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

              Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

              There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

              This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

              1. Todoist

                Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                Download: Todoist

                2. 1Password

                  You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                  1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                  You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                  Download: 1Password

                  3. Bear

                    Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                    It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

                    Download: Bear

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                    4. Hazel

                      Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                      For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                      Download: noodlesoft

                      5. Alfred

                        Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                        For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                        It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                        Download: Alfred

                        6. TextExpander

                          TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                          For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                          An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                          Download: TextExpander

                          7. Backblaze

                            If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                            Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                            Download: Backblaze

                            8. Keyboard Maestro

                              Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                              Download: Keyboard Maestro

                              9. Snagit

                                There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                10. Bartender

                                  Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                  If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                  Download: Bartender

                                  11. Otter

                                  Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                  Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                  Download: Otter

                                  12. Flux

                                    Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                    Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                                    Download: Flux

                                    13. PDFpen

                                    If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                    PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                    Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                    14. OmniFocus

                                      OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                      It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                      A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                      Download: OmniFocus

                                      15. Franz

                                        It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                        Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                        Download: Franz

                                        16. MindNode

                                          If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                          The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                          Download: MindNode

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                                          17. Focus

                                            The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                            This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                            Download: Focus

                                            18. CleanMyMac

                                              Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                              Download: CleanMyMac

                                              19. Grammarly

                                                A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                Download: Grammarly

                                                The Bottom Line

                                                These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                More to Boost Productivity

                                                Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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