The educational system in the US prepares citizens for life in the workplace, whether that be through basic numeracy and literacy schooling, or more advances vocational training at colleges and universities. However, there are much more specific skill sets that you can learn in online courses, night classes, or college degrees which may cost some money but will prove to be a worthy investment once those skills land you your dream, well-paid job. The options are near-infinite, but below is a list of some of the most interesting and valuable options out there for skills development.

Coding

The future is online; the future is digital. So says nearly every business leader, politician and social theorist around the globe. Supporting a future army of automatons that are already taking over the likes of supermarket jobs will be an army of human coding experts, who understand the unique language spoken by complex stacks of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can self-teach or go through a course, but this is perhaps the most important (and well-paid) skill heading into the future, so get yourself up to speed as soon as possible.

Languages

Outside of the language of computers and binary systems, there’s, of course, the wide array of languages around the world that thousands of Americans decide to learn in night classes and paid online courses each year. With a globalized economy and gigantic emerging markets such as India, Brazil, China and the Middle East, learning Hindi, Portuguese, Mandarin or Arabic could lead to some incredibly lucrative business with global partners who will value your ability to speak more than one language more than the whole of the rest of your education combined.

Transport

We’re still a long way off automated vehicles that the public will trust thanks to recent automated car disasters. However, in a busy, globalized world, transport remains key to future business, travel, and leisure. The key component of international travel is, of course, air travel. Learning the skills to become a pilot, which ranges from instrument flight rules education all the way to practice flights in a light aircraft, will qualify you to fly for the hugely-expanding major airlines business, or perhaps even pilot private jets for the world’s super-rich, with all the lifestyle benefits that come with it.

Digital Markets

This final set of skills is wide and constantly developing, and because of those two factors, it’s difficult to pin down. The digital world continues to expand into all realms of public and private life, creating new and unique marketplaces, novel advertising options, and even producing data that are becoming increasingly valuable to own, trade, share and sell to interested parties. Whatever direction you believe your future career will take, harnessing some of the skills needed to command in the digital realm will stand you in good stead for advancing your ambitions through the internet’s boundless value.

Learning new skills is exciting and profitable; an investment that will make you more valuable to employers, and more able to set out in business on your own. Think of these options when considering your future in the skills economy.

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