Remember the days when knowledge used to equate books and teachers?
These days, knowledge can be obtained everywhere online too, with free and paid options.
Some of the e-learning websites include Youtube, massive open online courses (MOOC) platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, edX, Udacity, Khan Academy, Skillshare, and other self-development apps like Masterclass or MindValley.
If your eyes are tired from all the screen-induced blue-light glare, there are audio options for online learning as well.
Audible is an online audiobook and podcast platform which streams spoken word content.
Spotify and other podcast platforms also stream podcasts from individual producers to megastars.
Benefits of Online Learning
The online learning phenomenon drastically reduces education barriers by increasing accessibility while reducing cost.
For more structured courses, there is also the flexibility of watching courses and completing assignments at your own pace.
This flexibility is perfect for those who wish to pursue an education while working or studying full-time.
Nowadays, people are learning new skills online to upgrade themselves, whether it is related to their profession, to build a side hustle in the future, or to improve skills in a particular hobby.
Below, you will find top in-demand skills that can be learned online to increase your employability and/or grow your business in this digital era.
Top In-Demand Skills to Learn Online
1. Copywriting Skills
Slogans, taglines, headlines-what do they have in common?
They are catchy and communicate the business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in a single sentence.
If that sounds exciting, welcome to the world of copywriting.
Copywriting is the art of using persuasive words to create content that influences or converts, including the above-mentioned slogans, taglines, and headlines.
The difference between copywriting and content writing is the intended goal.
- Copywriting: to persuade the target audience to perform a particular action
- Content writing: to increase general awareness on various topics related to the offering, thus building brand authority
In e-commerce, visually-appealing images may be important to attract potential customers, but persuasive words help to seal the deal.
If you have the writing flair, why not try learning copywriting skills online?
Not only can you help businesses secure more customers, you just might start your own business and be your own copywriter!
2. Digital Marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Remember billboards, TV and radio advertisements, and newspaper product placements?
In today’s digital world, the bulk of marketing is now done online.
Social media and search engines have leveraged the fact that consumers spend most of their free time on these platforms.
This opens up more possibilities for marketing, in turn building up a rapidly expanding subset in the industry: digital marketing.
Digital marketing is basically marketing done on digital platforms such as emails, social media, search engines, and apps.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a highly prized skill within the digital marketing subset.
The idea is to optimize content so that when users type specific keywords, it will appear in the first few search results.
Digital marketers use SEO for the long term, organic growth that does not require payment for ads.
Different digital marketing approaches are required for different platforms, thus you may find online learning courses that only focus on 1 subset.
There are many e-learning websites that offer digital marketing courses because it is in high demand and is expected to remain so for quite some time in the foreseeable future.
If you are interested to learn new skills online and equip yourself with current in-demand skills, digital marketing and SEO are great skills to add to your resume or to grow your hustle.
3. Graphic Design
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
While that is true, in this competitive digital era with consumers’ increasingly short attention spans, outstanding graphics help businesses stand out.
Think about your own experience scrolling through businesses' social media accounts with great graphics compared to lacklustre ones.
As social media is the “storefront” for e-commerce, great graphics will communicate brand authority and in turn build trust with potential clients, even before the first purchase.
The interesting advantage of being a highly sought-after graphic designer is the uniqueness of your skill.
As graphic design is subjective, your exact combination of techniques and design ideas is uniquely yours.
With so many digital apps and websites such as graphic design SaaS (i.e. Canva) available, graphic design is now more accessible than ever. However, the amateur may feel overwhelmed with the technical skills needed to use different platforms.
Thankfully, there are also many e-learning websites that offer courses in graphic design.
Online learning of graphic design skills is not only possible, it is necessary to learn the basics and keep up with the latest trends.
The end result? Your clients will benefit from cutting edge graphic design ideas, and your business/career will grow steadily as you build your unique brand identity and authority, whether through word of mouth or an impressive portfolio on online platforms such as Dribble or Behance.
4. UX and UI Design
UX and UI design sound futuristic. But what exactly are they?
UX stands for “user experience”, while UI stands for “user interface”.
As they are often used interchangeably or with overlapping job descriptions, it is hard to draw a solid line between them.
Career Foundry condensed the difference between those 2 terms, stating that “UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while UI design is all about how the product’s interfaces look and function.”
At the end of the day, both UX and UI design complement each other to ensure a pleasing customer experience from contemplation to post-purchase.
UX and UI designers are in great demand right now, as businesses compete to provide the best overall experience with their offerings.
Consumers tend to rely on reviews to finalise their purchase. A great customer experience will encourage people to share without additional prompting or incentives. It is a win-win situation for both consumers as well as businesses.
Interested in the thought processes and design aspects of customer-centric products/services? Take a UX and UI design course from e-learning websites and learn these skills online in no time.
If bricks are the building blocks for houses, what about digital stuff like apps, websites, and software?
The answer lies in a special language: coding.
Lines of code may seem indecipherable, but once put together, has the ability to power from the simplest to cutting-edge digital solutions.
Learning to code is a valuable skill across every industry.
- As an employee in an unrelated industry, this extra skill will help you identify opportunities and work on solutions that may not be available yet.
- As a side or main hustle, coding enables you to build an innovative solution from scratch, or help others do so.
- When outsourcing is required, you will be able to communicate your vision more accurately and to identify the expert from the fluff to prevent costly mistakes.
There are plenty of e-learning websites that offer online learning for coding.
In fact, as it is recognised as an important skill, some websites such as Codecademy and Free Code Camp offer free online courses that allow you to dive into deeper coding waters as you progress.
If you are interested to learn new skills online to future-proof yourself, coding is an excellent choice.
Although it will be a steep learning curve, just like learning a new language, you will get the hang of it with persistent practising. Practice makes perfect!
As mentioned earlier, websites are built on codes.
But what if you only want to build websites on a pre-existing platform with zero or little coding experience?
Enter website-builders such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify.
While all have user-friendly interfaces for beginners (thanks, UX and UI designers!), Wordpress.org has more options in the customisation department with thousands of plugins from independent creators.
At the time of publishing, WordPress claims to power 39% of websites on the Internet. It is only set to grow from here as more businesses forge their digital presence. There will also be an increase by websites built for various causes, from charity to online resumes.
It is beneficial to learn how to navigate Wordpress.org to set up websites without needing to learn the deep end of coding while being able to have the freedom of customisation via plugins.
With that said, blending coding with Wordpress.org skills will enable you to troubleshoot website problems and even create Wordpress.org solutions (plugins, themes). If they gain traction, you could be earning a steady stream of passive income.
If you love exploring website creation for personal and professional reasons, learning Wordpress.org on e-learning websites is a great start!
Photography has morphed over the years, from film to electronic photographs.
The increased accessibility to cameras allows many to freely explore photography.
However, there is still a great demand for skilful photographers to photograph exceptional images, be it special moments during a wedding or commercial shoots.
In digital marketing, photography also complements graphic design to produce stellar visuals that evoke emotions from the target audience.
In addition, good photography skills will improve your own social media game. You will also be the go-to person whenever your friends want to take a photo. Who knows, you might even build a side hustle from these referrals!
If you plan to take your love for photography to the next level and possibly earn income from it, there are various e-learning websites that offer courses in photography.
As photography is subjective and personal, different photographers can capture the same moment with various interpretations. After mastering the basics, learn how to tell a story well through composition from advanced online courses.
For the serious photographer, online learning of photo editing skills is also beneficial to process the images well.
In fact, most images have to be processed using photo editing software to consistently fit a certain aesthetic.
Learning new skills online such as photography and editing skills will not only enable you to take your hobby seriously, it will also open the door to many more opportunities.
8. Data Science
“Knowledge is power”.
The digital era enables us to collect data much more efficiently than before, for better or for worse (think privacy and data protection concerns).
Nevertheless, there is a surge of demand in interpreting and applying these data to make better business decisions.
Data science is a relatively new field that emerged from this demand.
Although the concept of analysing and applying insights from data trends has been around since ancient times, data science in the 21st Century involves a more systematic approach in the form of scientific methods, algorithms, and systems.
It is expected to grow exponentially. Due to its novelty, the supply of data scientists is currently far below the demand.
The good news is learning data science is now more accessible than ever through e-learning websites such as Edureka’s Data Science Certification Courses.
If you are an analytical person with an interest in making connections between data and its implications, learning data science online can help boost your employability and future-proof your career.
9. Bonus: Personal Development
Personal development is a set of skills that enable you to reach your fullest potential.
It may not be a digitally related skill, but it is an important icing on the cake to advance professionally as well as to live a fulfilling life.
The best part about developing personal skills is that they are evergreen. Soft skills have been, and will always be, important in any setting, so long as human beings are involved.
Some examples of personal development skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.
Personal development skills can be learnt via online courses from e-learning websites, self-help books, mentors, and even the people around you or through social media.
There is always room for improvement in personal development skills. Why not improve your skills further under the guidance of experts via online courses from e-learning websites?
What are some skills would you like to learn online now?
The Internet has opened up many amazing opportunities, online learning is one of them.
The plethora of e-learning websites has enabled us to learn from people of various backgrounds and expertise, anytime and anywhere.
We should grasp this opportunity to learn our way towards personal and professional growth, for ourselves as well as for the community around us.
See you at the top!