Job Skills to Earn You Bigger Bucks

Not too long ago it seems there were more good jobs with decent pay where employees were simply asked to show up, put in their time and do their job well. Clock in and clock out. These jobs offered a level of predictability and security that a worker could ride into retirement. Today, the world is different – technology has thrust our economy into a new era, eliminating jobs in some areas while triggering a boom in others.

How can you ride this new wave? By developing the job skills that employers value most. This will give you an edge, that extra sparkle that will earn you bigger bucks. The great news: the barrier to attaining these skills is low. Most of these skills can be gained on the job or by taking online courses. Check out these skills that can help line your wallet with extra cash.

Data analysis
Learn to interpret big data and your colleagues will march you through the cubicle halls on their shoulders. Big companies that want to compete in the marketplace recognize that understanding data is the key to understanding (and capitalizing on) customer behavior. This might seem intimidating, but really, all you’re doing is using data to tell a story. Learn how to master this hot skill with one of these classes on edX.

Financial analysis
If you want to get ahead in any industry, you’ll need a foundational understanding of what it takes to keep your company, your division or even just your team profitable. Whether you work in retail sales or do marketing for a small start up, understanding finance will help you advance in any company. Why? All the higher-up positions give you more responsibility, which will typically include managing the big-picture financial health of the business. So take an online financial accounting class or enroll in a weekend class at your community college. According to, this skill will give you an average pay boost of 4 percent.

Photo, audio and video editing
As online marketing blossoms, companies want to produce a variety of creative content. Many companies have launched their own podcasts, or released short videos, or run photo campaigns to draw customers to their brand. Many of these companies aren’t in the media industry, but they need folks who are savvy with media skills. Years ago, you’d need to get formal training and invest in loads of fancy equipment if you wanted to learn to edit photo, audio or video. But today’s technology makes this a breeze, with little cost to you. For Mac users, your computer comes with the tools you need to edit audio in Garage Band, video in iMovie and photos in Photo. Otherwise, you can use the free audio editing software Audacity, or PicMonkey or Canva, both free, to alter images or Movie Maker for video editing. Tutorials abound online.

Project management
Project management is a “soft skill” that is crucial to moving important projects from inception to completion. It’s for skilled multitaskers who excel at organizing teams, mapping out steps required to reach a goal and executing that plan. One great way to hone this skill is by managing small projects on the job and then ramping up to bigger projects. Find a mentor to guide you through the bumps in the road, and if you find you need more concrete training, find a course online or at a local school.

If you are committed to staying in your specific field, focus on learning technical skills specific to your line of work. You can hone your skills, advance and make more money all by taking advantage of training courses that are for the most part free. Find courses on the above skills and many others on popular sites such as Udemy, Skillshare, Edx and Coursera.


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