Professional Development

7 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Quickly That Will Boost Your Job Prospects

Written by Peter Jones

Skill acquisition is super important to advancing your career. But you’re busy—or you live in a remote location—or you just feel daunted by how long it takes to gain proficiency, let alone mastery, of any given skill.

Never fear! There are a ton of in-demand and highly marketable skills you can learn quickly. Here are some of the best.

1. Web Design/Development

Ever notice just how many job postings ask for some variant on this? Or call it a bonus or a plus? There are tons of online sites and programs that can help you learn how to do all of this and more, in your spare time. And this skill will help make you look really good to a wide range of companies needing help launching, updating, or redesigning their sites.

2. Data Analysis/Stats

Even if you were terrible at math in school, it’s time to give it another try. Big data is the next frontier. Try sites like Khan Academy to get free instruction in how to harness, organize, and analyze mega data sets and put that skill smack on your resume. Learn something like Mini-tab, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) or E-view to really set yourself apart.

3. Cloud Computing

It’s okay if you don’t even know what that is now. You can learn! Heard these buzz words? Virtualization, software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS)? You too could become an expert in them. Try for a free introductory course to cloud computing. Then you can put Customer Management Software (CRM) expertise on your resume and be that much more marketable.

4. Excel and PowerPoint

These more complicated programs of the Office suite—and usually the ones you ignore? Never underestimate the power of expertise in either of these programs. Take an online class in either—or both—and revel in how far you can get being a super genius at these programs.

5. Public Speaking

The skills you build while beefing up your public speaking expertise are multipurpose and can bring about a huge confidence boost. When in doubt, improve your communication skills—both written and oral. But public speaking can make you that much more effective when speaking, interviewing, asking for a raise… There are platforms like Udemy and Skillshare available through Toastmasters International or Dale Carnegie Training. You can even sign up for Skillshare through and get your first month free.

6. Coding

Augment your new web development/design skills with some coding knowledge. These technical skills are all the rage right now, can help whether you’re going into marketing or management, and can really set you apart in the hiring pool. Start with HTML and CSS and then see if you can pick up some skill with JavaScript. Try the Web Development Bootcamp for a nine-week course.

7. Blogging

Not just for teenage girls! Every company needs a blog these days, and having the talent to generate interesting, well-written content, plus the knowledge of SEO and some of the more technical aspects can really set you apart from the crowd. When in doubt, be a blogging maven!

About the author

Peter Jones