In 2021, building wealth is a big challenge many people face. In fact, it’s not uncommon for low- to middle-income earners to have side businesses or freelance and consultancy work.
With wages slow to catch up with the ever-increasing cost of living, most people have taken on side hustles. This shift has allowed them to live comfortably, apply for mortgage loans, and take vacations.
In many industries in the United States, workers have been grappling with wage stagnation for several decades. However, certain industries offer more competitive rates due to the increasing demand, particularly in the digital technology and marketing sector.
Unless you’re a doctor, executive, or engineer, you’ll need to develop new skills with a high-income potential or improve on what you have so you can capitalize on it. Here are some examples of skills you can teach yourself in 2021:
Software engineers, web and app developers, and programmers are some of the highest paying careers not only in the IT sector but in the job market as a whole. In fact, senior-level IT professionals could earn just as much as surgeons and physicians. If you know the basics of code, the next logical step is to learn practical, high-earning skills, such as developing websites, apps, and software.
The tech economy is in full swing, and the world will continue to need developers. The good news is that anyone can learn to code, even those from completely different backgrounds. You won’t need a diploma in computer science to get good jobs in the industry. Plus, freelance developers are in high demand, with so many businesses moving their operations online.
2. Video or audio editing
Almost every business across any industry needs to produce online content and marketing collaterals to attract clients. But not all businesses have in-house creative departments to create top-notch, shareable materials for them. Instead, they look to other creative agencies and freelancers to fill the gap.
If you’re a video or audio editor, you can find a wide range of projects, from a couple creating a wedding video, an event needing coverage, or a business or individual starting a podcast. Video and audio content is also in high demand, thanks to the popularity of streaming services and colossal demand from consumers. But on top of learning editing skills, you’ll also need to invest in top-notch tech and software to produce crisp outputs. The more advanced your arsenal is, the higher you can charge clients.
3. Digital marketing
Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of techniques and platforms used by businesses to connect with consumers online. This includes search engine optimization (SEO), Google or social media advertising, social media management, email marketing, and marketing consultancy. Learning just one of these skills could land you high-paying full-time jobs and side gigs. Plus, these skills are mostly self-taught, and there are endless courses and tutorials online that you can devour to get your skills up to speed. There are also many tools you can use to optimize or automate digital marketing processes. You can also opt to specialize in one channel or become a well-rounded digital marketing expert.
4. Copywriting/content marketing
Content creation is one of the fundamental elements of digital marketing. Almost every channel requires some form of content, from social media captions and product descriptions to blog posts, infographics, and video. While top-notch, six-figure writing is not easy to master, content marketing has sub-niches that are easy to learn. The most basic would be copywriting, or writing for websites, apps, social media, and blogs.
If you have a knack for creative storytelling and a background in SEO, freelance writing could potentially be a steady source of income. Plus, it’s quite easy to find clients in this niche, as web content is in high demand. To secure good clients and charge higher, keep improving your portfolio, learn keyword research and SEO, brush up on Google analytics, and provide more value by making your own supporting creatives.
6. Trade Skills
There’s a misconception that vocational skills are the least paid, but that’s not entirely true. Trade skills are always in demand, and if you learn a particular skill on the side, you could turn it into a small business. In fact, many people have grown their trade skills into full-blown businesses, many of which started in garages and small workshops. Moreover, tradespeople get paid by the hour, making it an ideal part-time job. Some examples of high-paying trade professions include electricians, carpenters, plumbers, healthcare technicians, and landscape and interior designers.
The job market is increasingly becoming more competitive, and the cost of living continues to rise. If you want to stay ahead and avoid jumping from paycheck to paycheck, find the time to learn these high-earning skills.