How to Learn New Skills to Start a Side Hustle (and Earn $30/Hour or More)


Some of the best work-from-home side hustles require professional skills, like software developer, website designer, or graphic designer. But what if you’re not already working in those career fields?

Fortunately, it’s possible to learn new skills for some of the best-paying side hustles.

Here are a few ideas for how to learn the most in-demand side hustle skills — even if you’re starting from zero experience.

1. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning offers more than 21,000 courses on all kinds of professional skills. You can search for courses that teach in-demand skills for any side hustle. For example, if you search for “freelance graphic designer,” LinkedIn Learning will show you lists of courses in skills like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and more. Want to be a web developer? LinkedIn Learning can quickly connect you to courses in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and more.

Another benefit of LinkedIn Learning: after you learn a new skill, you can add it to your LinkedIn profile. This makes it easy to show hiring managers and freelance clients that you’re ready to do the work they need.

How much it costs: You can try LinkedIn Learning for free for one month, and then it’s included in the LinkedIn Premium membership ($29.99 per month; limited time offer as of June 30, 2024).

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2. Coursera

Coursera is an online career training platform where you can get access to more than 7,000 courses and Professional Certification programs. Coursera partners with major universities and companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Google.

You can use Coursera to learn new career skills in a wide range of fields that can become full-time jobs or high-paying side hustles, including:

  • Digital marketer
  • Front-end developer
  • Full stack developer
  • IT support specialist
  • Project manager
  • UX designer

Even if you don’t have previous corporate experience or a college degree, Coursera can help you learn the skills to elevate your earning power. And you can add your Coursera certificates to your LinkedIn profile, just like LinkedIn Learning.

How much it costs: The Coursera Plus membership costs $20 per month and gives you unlimited access to more than 7,000 Coursera learning programs, and you can earn unlimited certificates. (Limited time offer as of June 30, 2024; offer valid through July 8, 2024.)

3. Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform for creative skills — like art, design, illustration, and more. If you want to learn skills for a creative side hustle as a freelance writer, animator, video editor, photographer, or UI/UX designer, Skillshare could be a great place to start.

The Skillshare platform has more than 25,000 classes (many taught by industry leaders whose names you might recognize), more than 600,000 members, and a 4.8 star rating on the App Store.

How much it costs: Skillshare doesn’t list prices on its website; you have to create an account (for free) to see pricing available in your region. But according to Business Insider, as of January 2023, Skillshare cost $32 per month, or $168 with a one-time annual payment. (You also start with a free trial.)

Bottom line

Some of the best side hustles, like software developer, project manager, video editor, web developer, and graphic designer, pay $30-$60 per hour (or more). Demand for these skills is still strong, so even if you don’t have a college degree or conventional corporate background, you can often get a foot in the door in these career fields by learning the needed skills online.

There are several ways to gain certifications and get credibility with hiring managers and side hustle gig clients, even if you don’t have prior experience. Just by spending a few hours per week taking courses in your spare time, you can gain valuable side hustle skills that put more money in your bank account for years to come.

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