In June 2020, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, signed executive order to overhaul the government’s hiring practices so that a job applicant’s skills will be given priority over a college degree. This move will shift focus from vetting applicants based on their educational credentials and move toward using skill assessments and interviews to determine an applicant’s qualifications.
Degree requirements will not be entirely eliminated, as they will remain mandatory for positions where advanced degrees are legally required like in law and medicine. However, it is evident that the job market is gradually but steadily moving from degree-dependent to skill-dependent. Emphasis is now on what value you can offer. In the words of Jim Rohn, “Formal education will make you a living; but self-education will make you a fortune”. So in this video, I’ll share with you 9 highly valuable skills you can teach yourself for free. I taught myself numbers one, two, four, five, seven, and eight successfully. And they have all made a significant difference in my life to varying degrees. Just pick the ones that resonate for you and start learning. Before we get to it be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
1. How to Code
The language of the computer is probably the most useful language you can learn today. In an increasingly technology-driven society, being able to code is a valuable and in-demand skill. Jobs that require basic coding knowledge are growing faster and paying more than jobs that don’t. With intermediate to advanced coding skills, you can work for companies full time or freelance, or you can create your own product. There are plenty of online resources where you can learn different programming languages from home without needing to go to a university or even take a class. This is a highly valuable life skill you can teach yourself.
2. How to Edit Photo and Video professionally
A few decades ago, taking pictures and videos was exclusively the job of trained professional photographers and videographers. Today, they still are, but everyone has their Smartphone and apps to take and record almost professional photos and videos. There are many people taking pictures and videos on their phones but we still need people who are good at editing them.
Take this video for example. It required a skill set to create this video. None of the people creating this video went to school to learn the skill. They learned it on their own and are getting paid to use their skills. Learning photo and video editing can be slow at the beginning. But once you are fully acquainted with the different software, you can achieve greater speed and efficiency. If you love creative activities, this is one skill you can potentially build a successful career on. And there are plenty of resources to continually improve your skill editing video and photo.
3. How to play a musical instrument
Researchers have found that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance your verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. To put it simply, playing an instrument strengthens your brainpower. If you have an interest in music, there are lots of tutorials on how to learn specific musical instruments online. Besides being something absolutely fun to do, learning a musical instrument can help spur other creative sides you never knew you had. For instance, singing almost always goes with learning a piano. You may end up learning two skills for the price of one.
4. Learn a course you skipped or failed in School
Whether it’s science, finance, math, economics, law, or anything else, if there’s a course you wish you took in school or that you don’t devote much attention to, try learning that course. For instance, I often said that if I hadn’t been a science student I would have studied economics or psychology. Well, today I watch more videos and read more books on these subjects than anything else. I don’t have a college degree in economics or psychology but I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge from teaching myself. There are many massive open online courses you can take for free or a little fee. There are videos on YouTube as well. You don’t have to keep wishing you had knowledge about something when the resource you need to learn is just 3 or 5 clicks away. Use these resources to fill in any gaps in your education.
5. How to Write Effectively
Today, you can build an entire business from your writing skill. Writing is a highly desirable and highly rewarding skill if you are patient enough to develop your skill and seek out opportunities. From copywriting, script-writing to content writing, fiction, and other forms of writing; you can teach yourself any of these writing skills and build a lucrative career or business around it. Written content is the lifeblood of the internet. Even video content often starts with a written script. So it’s obviously important to be able to write effectively. There are many resources and master-classes online to help you hone your writing skill. Blogging is also a good way to practically hone your writing skill, take real-life feedback from an audience and find your writing style. In fact, it is important to develop effective writing skills if you want to engage in today’s digital world.
6. How to Speak a new Language
I’m yet to get my hand around this one, but we can’t have it all. Learning a new language is difficult for most adults; that includes me. But it can offer a rewarding experience and even open up doors of opportunities. If learning a new language is important for you, by all means put in the required work and time and learn. It may seem like too much work but you are free to take your time. You can learn one of the major languages in the world that you are not fluent in. Apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone are good places to start learning a new language. Even Google translator can assist you as well.
7. How to Market Online
Online marketing is among the relatively new skills that open up doors of opportunities if you get good at it. Million dollar businesses and high paying careers have been built around online marketing skills. Interestingly, you don’t need a college degree to become a professional online marketer. You only have to know how to get results.
You don’t also need to sign up for an expensive internet marketing course to gain some real, in-depth online marketing knowledge. There are tons of free resources out there that’ll teach you about everything from the basics to advance knowledge. You can learn how search engine optimization, social media, blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, conversion analysis, and web analytics come together to form a modern digital marketing strategy for free.
8. Financial Education
How you handle money, will to a large extent, affect how happy and accomplished you’ll become. Learning how to handle money is definitely a skill. You need skill to earn money; you need a level of money management skill to keep your money safe. And you need investment skill to grow your money. And these are skills you can teach yourself. In fact, it is a skill you learn best from your own experience. You can get information from free sources online, including on YouTube. But you’ll have to make your decisions and take responsibility for your own mistakes to actually learn. So as you read to develop financial education, you have to apply what you learn.
9. How to Cook
Cooking is a survival skill everyone should learn, even if you can afford not to cook your food. And even if you know how to cook some regular dishes, there is a world of food out there you’ll want to try at home or if you want to commercialize your love for cooking.
There is an enormous resource for food recipes here on YouTube to learn almost any kind of food you can think of. You can have some fun trying out some foreign dishes, while learning. Your cooking skill can serve for personal, relationship or business purpose depending on your interests.
Most of our team members at After School Africa developed their skills on the job. They practically learned what they are paid to do either on the job or on their own. The world is changing fast. There is a lot you can learn on your own without having to pay. And there are enormous opportunities for these skills.
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