These days, the true currency of the job market lies with your skillset not your degree. While it is true that having a degree can help you land a job, without the right skills, how long can you hold on to your job? In fact, it might even be safe to say that having the right skills is most important.
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If you haven't noticed, there are plenty of people earning money without a degree. They simply learned the right valuable skills. If you desire to move your career forward, you should dig deeper with your current skills or consider learning a new complementary skill. Thankfully, we live in the information age and that means learning a new skill is easier than ever.
In this article, we are going to feature eight skills that you can learn from the very comforts of your home. No money is required.
Skill 1: Touch Typing
You can significantly improve your keyboarding skills through free touch typing lessons at Ratatype. Touch typing is all about increasing your typing speed and accuracy by relying on motor reflex rather than your sight.
This allows you to focus on the monitor fully and not continually glance back and forth between the monitor and the keyboard. In short, learning touch typing can increase your productivity. Start with a typing speed test so that you can compare your results before and after learning.
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Skill 2: Excel
Excel is one of the best when it comes to spreadsheet software. In fact, being good at Excel will significantly improve your chances of landing a job. Furthermore, there are a lot of other valuable skills that are built on an Excel platform. Hence, it's a useful skill to learn. If you want to improve your Excel skills, you might want to check Chandoo as they provide free courses for various skill levels.
Skill 3: Basic Coding
Perhaps there's no other skill out there that you can learn for free and may potentially lead you to a high-paying career. Learning how to code may lead you to your first start-up company. Or, it may lead you to create the next big app. In fact, most employers would rather hire someone that knows a bit of coding even if they are not in the tech industry. If you want to learn to code for free, then head to Code Academy. Harvard also offers a free online course in basic coding called CS50: Introduction to Computer Science. You can audit the course for free or add a verified certificate for $149.
Skill 4: Speed Reading
Improving your reading speed increases your efficiency. It's just like upgrading a computer. Doing so allows you to process more volumes of data at a faster speed. With enough practice, you can double and even quadruple your current reading speed. Just imagine the possibilities. Start improving your reading speed with a free 7-day trial of Spreeder.
Skill 5: A Second Language
Learning a second language not only makes you more attractive but it can also further your career. Thankfully, there are a lot of free online courses available to learn a new language. Duolingo helps you learn Italian, Portuguese, French, or Spanish, to name a few.
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Skill 6: Negotiating
Learning how to negotiate can significantly improve your career, relationships, and/or business. People with zero negotiation skills often get steamrolled in almost any area of life. Don't be left in the dust and start learning Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills for free online from George Stanford, professor of Business Administration and Business Law at the University of Michigan. The course takes approximately 17 hours to complete and is highly rated.
Skill 7: Photoshop
Every industry will have to work with digital art sooner or later. Even making a simple advertising pamphlet will require some digital art skills. Learning how to use Photoshop is a skill that will pay off in the future. To get better at Photoshop, try Adobe's Photoshop Tutorials for free.
Skill 8: Investing
These days, currency trading and stock trading are popular. Investing is a skill that can help you reap great rewards. If you become really good at it, you can even quit your job and go full-time. Investopedia offers 3 free lessons in their Investing for Beginners course. This information on its own is valuable. However, if you like what you see, you can purchase the entire course for $199.
There are other valuable skills you can learn for free online. However, you can start with the suggestions above as they are worthwhile skills that will give you great returns for your time and efforts. What skill are you interested in learning? Leave a comment below.
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About the Author
My name is Adam Fort. I'm an education strategist at Ratatype.com. This project helps children and adults to learn touch typing via an online typing test and lessons. I am in charge of developing the proper typing lessons and exercise for typists who want to improve their typing speed. I also have a commercial pilot's license of which I’m proud.