This article originally appeared on RickOrford.com and was republished with permission.
Certain jobs make more money than others. Whether you can take advantage of a particular career path might depend on whether you can learn specific skill sets. Some individuals have the aptitude to land 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 those skills in the following article.
High-Income Skill Examples
If you can learn a particular skill that enables you to do a job that an employer will pay you well to perform, you'll be in good shape as you hunt for a suitable position. Earning most of these skills will also not make you part of the growing number of people who have student debt and are having to turn to student loan debt consolidation to survive. Some of the options for developing high-income skills will cost money but there are some free resources you can take advantage of as well.
We'll talk about a few high-income skill examples right now. If you can learn any of these, you should find employment without too much trouble.
1. Video Editing
More companies than ever before are learning to make videos about their services and products. YouTube's popularity is part of why they're doing it, but there are several other social media platforms where businesses might feature promotional videos.
They will always need someone to edit those videos, so there is a significant demand for talented video editors. You can look for a full-time editing job or work as a freelancer, so there's some flexibility there. This is also a position that rarely requires a college degree, though it might come in handy on your resume.
2. Project Management
Project management is a skill that uses organizational and communication skills. If you can master the fundamentals of project management, that means you can be valuable to many different kinds of organizations. You might oversee multiple teams while managing several aspects of a company's creative process.
This is a skill set that can take you far in life. The only possible drawback is that this is one job title where a company will probably look for a Master's Degree from an accredited university.
SEO means search engine optimization. If you can master this skill, you can potentially make a very good living. This is another skill where you might work for a single company full-time, or else you could work for different entities as a freelancer.
If you know about SEO, you can get a company's website to rank at the top of Google's search engine if someone searches for certain terms. This can be tremendously valuable to companies, so they'll be willing to pay you top dollar if you can get their site to appear as one of the top Google 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 be all the difference when you're trying to get a site to rank.
4. Web Design
Like SEO, web design is something that almost all businesses need these days. If you hear about a company and want to know more about it, probably the first thing you will do is look for their website. Someone needs to design those sites, and that's where a web designer comes in.
Web design skills come when you learn how to use a platform like WordPress or Wix. You can create a website using a template and add details depending on how a client wants the site to look. Web design is ideal if you want to do something lucrative with computers, but you don't have the patience or aptitude for learning a coding language.
5. Software Engineering
This brings us to the next possibility, software engineering. If you learn how to code, then you can create software. Many companies want a bespoke software system, especially if they have proprietary secrets that they're trying to protect.
Many employers don't require you to have a four-year college degree if you can demonstrate your software creation skills to them. Going to college can certainly help, but there are many software engineers who taught themselves how to code without ever going to school for it.
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 make $100,000 per year, while the best in the field might make double that.
Related read: Job Opportunities During COVID-19
How to Develop These Skills
We have talked about a few skill sets that you might develop that will allow you to have a successful side hustle or even a highly profitable career. Now, let's talk about a few ways you can learn some of these skills.
1. Take Formal Classes
Taking formal classes is always one way to go. For instance, if you wanted to learn something like software engineering, you could enroll yourself in a software "boot camp." They usually take about 12 weeks to complete, and the least expensive are typically a few thousand dollars. That may seem costly, 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 certainly something you could consider. To do so, you'd need to come up with the money. Student loans are a popular option if you don't have enough savings or help from a relative to cover tuition.
Finding a mentor can also be helpful if you're targeting one of the careers or skill sets we've mentioned. This should accelerate your learning significantly.
To locate a mentor to help you in your chosen field, you can ask around in online forums and communities. You can search using social media as well. There are often free meetups where companies try to connect mentors with mentees.
3. Use Free Resources
We've talked about taking classes 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 this route, finding and utilizing free resources is probably your best option.
The first and probably foremost resource you might use is YouTube. There are videos there that can teach you to do nearly anything. Some of them might be more useful than others, but if you search for how to learn a particular skill, you will more than likely find some tutorials there.
You might also find other social media platforms where you can consume free content that teaches you about one of the skill sets we've mentioned. For instance, you can sometimes find valuable content on TikTok, Dailymotion, Twitter, or Vimeo that can help you learn about some of the skills we've covered in this article.
4. Find an Internship
One more option if you're trying to develop a high-income skill set would be to find an internship. Internships don't pay, but their main benefit is that you will have a chance to learn a skill in a hands-on 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 to find a way to support yourself while you simultaneously do this work, for which you will not be paid. That's challenging, but if you live with parents or roommates, that can help you to be more frugal until you finish the internship with the new skill set that you have acquired. At that point, you can probably find yourself a better-paying job.
Related read: How to Ask for a Promotion at Work
Developing High-Income Skills Is Possible
Now, you know about a few high-income skills that you might consider, depending on which niche appeals to you. You might learn some SEO skills or how to code. You could master project management skills, find out how to edit videos, or get into web design.
Some of these skill sets will enable you to work for a single company, though with several of them, you might work as a freelancer if that seems like a better option to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
If you're interested in learning these skills, you might find an internship with a company that is willing to help you. You can utilize free resources like YouTube or various other social media platforms since there are often useful tutorial-style videos there.
You might find a mentor who can help you develop the skills in a particular industry or niche that interests you. You could also look into traditional four-year colleges or other more formal classes.
Developing one of the high-income skills we mentioned is a way you can be successful in life. Any of the ones in this article can be part of a highly profitable career if you know how to leverage them the right way.