These days, the true currency of the job market lies with your skillset. While it is true that having a degree can help you land a job, without the right skills, the question now becomes – how long can you hold on to your job? In fact, it might even be safe to say that having the right skills is better than having a degree.
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If you haven't noticed, there are plenty of people earning more money without having a degree. They simply learned the right valuable skills. Hence, to move your career forward, you need to dig deeper with your current skills, or you can learn a new complimentary 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 and only be spending time and effort. No money required.
1. Learn Touch Typing
These days, computers are all around. That means you will have to type into a keyboard sooner or later. Thankfully, you can significantly improve your keyboard skills through a free touch typing lessons. 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.
2. Learn Excel
Excel is one of the standards 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. You might want to check Chandoo if you want to improve your Excel and skills as they provide a free course.
3. Learn Basic Coding
Perhaps there's no other skill out there that you can learn for free and may potentially lead you to a very lucrative 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 a 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. Even Harvard offers a free course on Introduction to Computer Science.
4. Improve Your Reading Speed
Improving your reading speed increases your efficiency. It's just like upgrading a computer, in which you get to process more volumes of data and at a faster speed. With enough practice, you can double and even quadruple your current reading speed. Just imagine the possibilities. Well, you can stop imagining and start improving with the help free courses on speed reading. A good example of these sites is Spreeder.
5. Learn A Second Language
Learning a second language not only makes your more attractive, but it can also further your career. Thankfully, there are a lot of free online courses on learning a different language. You can try Duolingo as they can help you learn Italian, Portugues, French or Spanish to name a few.
6. Learn To Negotiate
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 from Stan Christensen from Standford. Yes, he's offering a free online course on how to negotiate.
7. Learn 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. That means, learning how to use Photoshop is a skill that will pay off in the future. To get better at Photoshop, you can start on Youtube, specifically, the “You Suck At Photoshop” series from the “My Damn Channel.” The series offers an extensive list of Photoshop tutorials, and it's all funny to boot.
8. Learn Investing
These days, currency trading and stock trading is popular on the Internet. It's 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 free stock basics course, so you might want to check it out if you want to learn this skill.
So that's it. There are other valuable skills you can learn for free on the Internet. However, you can start with the suggestions above as they may give you the best returns for your time and efforts.
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 licence which I’m proud of.