4 Profitable Skills You Can Learn Online in 2020

Even if you’re not normally a self-starter, recent events might have you thinking about your career and how to productively spend your increased time at home.

Whether you’re unemployed and looking to acquire a new skill set or in a career you want to enhance, there are a number of profitable skills you can learn in the comfort of your home. 

What makes these skills profitable is not only how impressive they are, but how in-demand they are in the current job market. So, while next decade’s set of most profitable self-taught skills might be different, these are a few that should have you set for a while at least. 


By now, it’s common knowledge that IT professionals and web developers can make upwards of six figures a year if they master their craft. If it weren’t the truth, Silicon Valley wouldn’t be what it is today. The fact of the matter is, there’s always a business with a need for a new app or new website. Cue your newfound talent! 

With countless free courses (such as Codecademy) online, you can become quickly skilled in some of the easier coding languages, like Python. 

From there, you can advance your knowledge with paid courses. Either way, coding/programming is a skill that can be learned entirely online. Once you have a decent grasp of it, you can offer freelance services through websites like Fiverr, Upwork, and so on. 

Coding salaries: 

  • Beginner: $50,000/yr
  • Intermediate: $64,000/yr
  • Experienced: $85,000/yr

Graphic Design

We’re gradually becoming a more visual society. Just look around. Captions are getting smaller and photos are getting larger. As such, there’s always a demand for graphic design work, and learning isn’t complicated. 

This option does require a small investment. You’ll want the best tools in order to properly teach yourself, and those can be typically found in the Adobe Creative Cloud. This collection of software includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and a number of other apps (though these are most pertinent). 

Currently, all apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud can be purchased for $79.49/mo or less if you agree to an annual commitment. If you’d rather dip your toe in the water first, all of these software have a free trial. As for acquiring the knowledge, that’s as easy as enrolling in an online course (some of which are hosted by colleges/universities) or even following some YouTube tutorials. 

Graphic designer salaries: 

  • Beginner: $36,000/yr
  • Experienced: $64,000/yr

SEO/Paid Search Advertising

Many companies (especially e-commerce businesses) will pay good money for a professional who brings more traffic to their website. While SEO and paid search advertising are technically two separate skill sets, you could combine them to make yourself even more marketable. 

Oftentimes, the strategies employed for both go hand-in-hand to boost a business’ overall sales and online visibility. 

Perhaps one of the most essential skills to learn in order to succeed is how to work your way around Google Analytics. Fortunately, Google hosts some free online courses on their Analytics Academy

Once you’ve got the data analytics part down, you can view articles from notable publishers like Moz and Ahrefs to get the latest on SEO/paid search strategies and how to implement them. It’s important to note that the recommended techniques in this industry are always changing, so staying on top of the latest trends and algorithm changes is critical. 

SEO salaries: 

  • Beginner: $35,000-$45,000/yr
  • Intermediate: $60,000/yr
  • Experienced: $70,000/yr

Second Language

Whether it’s converting a website/article to another language or serving as a translator for multilingual corporations, there are plenty of areas where being bilingual comes in handy. Granted, for this one, some prior knowledge of a second language is preferable. However, with apps like Duolingo, it’s never too late to learn. 

To help you get more polished, you can start off doing freelance work like translating brief articles. Even if you don’t plan making translation a career or side gig, it’s a highly marketable skill that’s requested by many employers. Simply having that experience on your resume can make you worth a lot more in your job search. 

In client-facing industries, knowledge of a second language could make you a critical component in client acquisition and customer retention. 

Monolingual vs. Bilingual EMT salaries: 

  • Monolingual: $30,000/yr
  • Bilingual: $40,000/yr


  1. https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-much-do-coders-make/
  2. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/graphic-designer-salary-SRCH_KO0,16.htm
  3. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/seo-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,11.htm
  4. https://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/businesscaseforbilingualism.htm