5 Money-Making Skills You Can Learn In Less Than A Year

By Valencia Higuera

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Looking to increase your value in the job market? Columnist Valencia Higuera shares five money-making skills and certifications to enrich your career and increase your paycheck.


Learning a new business skill is an excellent way to break into an industry, make yourself more attractive to employers, or earn more money and responsibility in your current career.

But between work, family and life, the thought of spending years in a classroom can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, you don’t have to. It’s possible to learn many in-demand skills in less than a year, some in just a few weeks or months.

Potential earning increases for adding new skills to your resume are wide ranging, but the more skill you can bring to the table for an employer, the better your advantage over other candidates, the higher your value in your industry, and the more negotiating power you’ll have when discussing your wage or salary. Here are five money-making skills and certifications to enrich your career and increase your paycheck.

Learning touch typing or 10-key can improve accuracy when drafting documents and speed up productivity, which many employers consider major assets. Typing is necessary for data entry jobs, administrative jobs and writing jobs. The cost of improving typing skills ranges from practice you can do on your own for free to courses that cost a couple hundred dollars. Online learning marketplace Udemy, for example, offers several typing courses ranging from $20 to $200 to help you increase your typing speed in just a few days.

In addition to data entry jobs, cashier jobs and similar roles typically require 10-key skills. If you want to work in retail or land a role requiring numerical data entry, you can learn 10-key number pad typing skills using free online tools, such as through or by taking an online course through a site like Lynda subscriptions start at $19.99 for access to thousands of courses.

You don’t need a four-year computer science degree to learn basic computer programming and get entry-level information technology jobs, such as roles related to website or software development or database management. Complete the Penn Foster Career School Programming Language Certificate Program in four months and learn programming skills as well as JavaScript, Microsoft Visual Basic and Access. The program costs between $499 and $589.

Taking a public speaking course and learning how to communicate effectively can enrich your career, especially if you’re seeking leadership or motivational speaking roles. These classes are taught online, at community colleges and at adult continuing education centers. Online training company The Leader’s Institute, for example, offers two-day public speaking courses across the country for $995.

Obtaining Microsoft Office Suite certification indicates proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. If you’re seeking jobs that involve preparing documents and spreadsheets, such as administrative jobs and research jobs, this might be a good fit. Complete free online tutorials at your own pace or sign up for a course at an adult continuing education center. For example, Chesapeake Public Schools in Chesapeake, Va., has six-week Microsoft Word and Excel classes starting at $71 for residents and $137 for non-residents.

Google Analytics Academy for Beginners is a smart option if you’re on the hunt for entry-level positions in digital marketing or advertising or if you’re in the industry and need to improve your data gathering and analysis skills. It can be particularly helpful if you’re switching from a non-digital role like print marketing to a digital role like website marketing. The online training is free through Google Analytics Academy. Courses _ which can be completed in about four to six hours _ prepare you for the Analytics Individual Qualification certification test, which is also free to take.

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