What Are High-Income Skills? (With 13 Skills to Develop)

Updated June 7, 2023

Most employers look for employees with a range of skills to accommodate the dynamic demands of their respective industries. Highly profitable, in-demand skills can help you advance your career and give you leverage to negotiate higher pay when looking for your next role. Learning some examples of these highly profitable skills can help you focus on developing relevant skills in your current industry or learn new ones to work flexibly as an entrepreneur, independent consultant, or freelancer.

In this article, we consider what high-income skills are and list 13 examples of skills you can learn to improve your earning potential within different industries.

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What are high-income skills?

High-income skills are the technical proficiencies or abilities that help you compete favourably in the job market. These skills can lead to specialization in some industries, giving you more career opportunities and promoting you to new roles. Some high-paying skills are also the result of changes in various industries or digital innovations, such as blockchain technology. These changes mean prospective employers or clients require professionals with relevant skills to cater to new demands and offer them compensation for their expert services. You can acquire most of these skills without a professional background or degree.

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13 examples of high-income skills

Here are 13 examples of high-paying skills you can consider learning:

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is one of the most talked about innovations today. One of the practical applications of this innovation is as a reliable ledger for sensitive information. The versatility of storing information across various systems to improve security can have financial or administrative applications. Various industries, clients, and employers require blockchain specialists, including those in the finance, oil and gas, legal, and tech industries. With this skill, you can consider roles including blockchain solution architect, blockchain user experience designer, and blockchain quality engineer.

Related: How to Become a Blockchain Developer (With List of Steps)

2. Data analysis

With the need for big data across industries to improve the understanding of customers and demand, the ability to collate, analyze, and apply such data is an essential skill. These skills allow you to provide clients or employers with valuable insights to develop business strategies. Various mediums and software can shape your specialization with this skill, including knowledge of spreadsheet software, database software, and programming languages. Some roles available to people with this skill include data analyst, data engineer, data scientist, and business analyst.

3. Web development

Web development is a highly profitable skill growing significantly as more businesses and industries transition into digital spaces. Developing this skill builds on user experience (UX) design and software development fundamentals. By combining these skills, web development allows you to apply technical software knowledge in designing functional websites that resonate with users and provide seamless experiences. This skill also applies to website performance tracking, updates, and troubleshooting. With this skill, you can specialize as a back-end developer, webmaster, full-stack developer, or front-end developer.

Read more: Discover the Top 8 Backend Languages for Web Development

4. Cloud computing

Cloud computing is another profitable skill industries require to make seamless transactions between multiple digital devices on the same network. These transactions relate to files, e-mails, applications, tools, resources, and software. The demand for cloud computing relates to the safe and fast way it allows businesses and organizations to store and access their information. This skill requires a significant learning period and a good knowledge of programming languages, mathematics, and computer systems. Some areas of specialization for this skill include platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and software-as-a-service. You can work as a cloud software architect or engineer with this skill.

5. Content creation

Content creation is one of the skills resulting from the increase in the digitization of marketing. Cultivating this skill involves fostering your originality, emotional intelligence, attention to detail, and creativity. You can also improve your competitiveness by incorporating insightful data analysis into your skill set. This skill allows you to create content on topics you are passionate about and enables you to negotiate with clients or brands who wish to explore your platform to connect with a new market segment. Learning this skill can lead to specialization as a content creator, brand marketing manager, or digital marketing manager.

Related: What Is Content Creation? (Plus How-to and Tools List)

6. Coding

While coding can serve as a specialization in a bachelor's in computer science or a tech-related degree, this skill can also be self-taught at your own pace. Coding involves using one or more programming languages to develop programs, configure digital systems, maintain network security, or develop software. Some languages you can start with include Ruby, Python, C++, and Java. These skills can help you establish a practice as a freelancer using your expertise to meet clients' needs and earn more money. You can also acquire this skill to make your current expertise more competitive and negotiate for higher benefits.

7. Project management

Many businesses set up teams or departments within an organization to work on tasks that contribute to their collective objectives. These teams and departments are most productive in the company of a leader with the relevant skill set to inspire action. Such skills allow leaders to coordinate teams, communicate with stakeholders, manage schedules, and organize budgets. Possessing these skills can be an indicator of an aptitude for project management. Project management is also a versatile skill with application across industries where projects and their effective management are relevant.

Related: 11 Free Project Management Software Tools and Their Benefits

8. Copywriting

Copywriting is one of the most versatile skills you can learn to improve your income. You can offer your writing services to clients and employers across various industries. This skill allows you to create your schedule and take on projects that interest you. You can also choose to work remotely and specialize in a chosen industry. For instance, you can focus on seeking clients with sport-related needs, which can help you explore an existing interest in athletics.

9. User experience (UX)

User experience is a profitable skill as a direct result of the changes in digital marketing and technological development. Developing this skill allows you to leverage the changes in marketing and brand perception by observing how customers interact with products. What you deduce from your observations and analyses helps you design user-friendly products that connect with consumers' pain points and desires. Some specializations of this skill require an understanding of data analytics, while most focus on design and creativity. Specializations with this skill include UX designer, UX researcher, UX writer, and User Interface (UI) designer.

Read more: What Is UX Design? (With Definition, Importance, and FAQs)

10. Artificial intelligence

From self-driving cars to robots, artificial intelligence is rapidly growing, and there is a huge demand for professionals with this skill for the foreseeable future. There are various specializations within this skill, and they all contribute to developing intelligent machines. Some specializations include machine learning, data mining, and expert systems. While this skill is highly profitable, it's also highly specialized and requires a long period of training. Being familiar with programming languages, linear algebra, and signal processing techniques is also helpful in developing this skill.

11. Cyber security

The demand for cyber security increases as more industries embrace digital innovation and cloud storage systems. Developing cyber security skills allows you to protect clients from malware and information compromise. Such protection is in demand as cyber-attacks and data breaches occur more frequently with increasingly sophisticated methods. Developing this skill requires an in-depth understanding of networking, operating systems, virtual machines, coding, cloud security, and network security control. You can also improve this skill by learning more about risk analysis, information security, and security audit.

Related: 7 Online Beginner Cyber Security Courses (With Tips)

12. Social media management

Social media is essential for many industries, businesses, and notable personalities. If you feel comfortable surfing social media platforms and understanding digital trends, this can be an excellent skill to explore. Social media management entails managing the portrayal of businesses and individuals across social media platforms. You can offer your skills in driving traffic, networking with clients, and creating relatable content across platforms. This skill is profitable in providing your clients with a way to connect with their audience organically and improve their brand image.

Related: 15 Social Media Metrics to Track a Successful Campaign

13. Graphic design

Graphic design is a valuable skill that can build upon your existing interest in software and design. You can combine these interests when providing vivid and compelling graphics for your clients. Developing this skill requires a strong aptitude for design principles, branding, typography, UX and UI design, idea generation, and software. Familiarizing yourself with various design software can also improve your grasp of this skill. The relevant software for graphic designers includes Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, and Adobe After Effects. You can also benefit from a fundamental knowledge of coding.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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