Looking for useful skills to learn? Read this article till the end, you’ll love this guide.
In this world there is nothing you can’t learn, it just requires your zeal to learn and grow. We often say and hear ‘Never Stop Learning’ but what should you learn actually?
Let me help you out…
You need to learn those skills that are extremely useful today for your personal and professional growth. That will differentiate you from others and have fun while learning. The skills that will pay you forever.
With all that in mind, here I’m going to break down 16 useful skills to learn. In addition to that, I’ll also share the sources of learning them.
There are mainly two types of skills: Hard skills and Soft skills. Having knowledge of a subject is a hard skill and the way you present the knowledge in front of anyone is an example of a soft skill.
Believe it or not but both skills are equally important for your career and personal development. That’s why in 16 skills we will be covering both kinds of skills.
Now let’s dive straight into it…
16 Useful Skills You Must Learn This Year:
1. Proficiency in Excel
No matter what your profession is, Excel is a must-learn tool. Despite the rise of newer technology, Microsoft Excel continues to be a valuable tool for various businesses.
However, it’s not just limited to business use only. From calculating your monthly or last travel expenses to managing the account of a company, you can use excel.
Regardless of what you do, you can use excel to dump all of your brainstorming ideas. It will become easier for you to manage any data as you learn more tips and tricks in Excel.
Or, similar to Excel, you may also upskill yourself in Google Sheets.
How to learn:
You can pursue the Excel Video Training course which is offered by Microsoft itself for free. Or, you may consider these two free courses to learn Excel as a beginner:
Remember, Excel is all about practicing so watching just video tutorials is not enough. You better use it for your daily data-related work.
2. Learning How to Code
Coding, Programming, and development seem like rocket science, Isn’t it? And you must be wondering how learning to code can be a useful skill.
Allow me to tell you…
Coding connects you to the world and the latest technology. It opens your mind and improves your creativity. You may have been using WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, or any Gaming app but learning to code helps to understand how their algorithm works, and what’s Machine learning and AI behind them.
Everything is based on code and programming. Even here what you’re reading has an HTML view also. No matter which stream or field you belong be it Science, Medicine, or Finance I must recommend you learn to code and understand how everything works. You may also own an app in any field in which you’re interested.
How to learn:
Coding is a vast topic, there are many languages in it. If you have no experience in it, it will be tough for you to get started. Hence for a beginner, I would suggest reading this article ‘100 Days of Code – Complete Roadmap for Beginners‘ by a Software Engineer, it guides you better on what to learn and how to START.
If you know the nitty-gritty of Coding, you may consider Codeacademy, where you can choose and pursue any specific subject like Web Development, Data Science, Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, Game Development, and others, then start learning the required coding languages in it.
If you want to be better at web development, you may also check out CodeGym, a Java learning platform.
3. Finance literacy
Having a good knowledge of finance helps you to manage your money better. You can take major decisions when it comes to money things like balancing your budget, funding your children’s education, or ensuring a good amount of wealth for retirement.
And the best part is by saving and investing wisely, you can double your money. You may also do paid consulting and advise someone better on whether they should buy a house or rent a house, how they can make their retirement plan, and more.
Money is fine, but if you don’t have finance skills, you’ll be slogging day after day. So, don’t you think finance is a must-learn skill?
Now the question is…
How to learn:
If you’re interested in learning with a course, you may consider The Complete Personal Finance Course: Save, Protect, More by a finance guy Chris Haroun on Udemy.
4. Investing in Stocks
If you’re in your teenage or 20s and looking for useful skills to learn, you may overlook Investing and trading. The majority of people assume that the right time to start investing is after getting a job or getting married, but in my opinion, there is no right time or age to begin investing.
I’d say the earlier you start investing the better results and return you get. You must be surprised that Warren Buffet purchased his first stock at 11 years.
Nevertheless, it’s not too late to start investing. It doesn’t matter how much you have for investing but make sure you invest in the right things. And, I must say first learn all about the market nature, and fundamental analysis of stocks and companies then start investing.
Believe it or not, Investing in stocks gives you better returns than FD over some time. Don’t you think, if you’re a college student it can help you with your pocket money?
How to learn:
If you have no idea about investing in stocks you may read Investing 101 book by Michele Cagan. Here I’ll also highlight two resources to learn Investing and fundamental analysis from scratch:
- Varsity by Zerodha: Markets, Trading, and Investing Simplified
- Investing 101: Free Online Investing Course for Beginners
You may also purchase a course, Investing In Stocks: The Complete Course! (14 hours) on Udemy to get a better understanding through video lectures.
5. Learning a new language
Learning a new language doesn’t only open up the world for you, but it also feels amazing to speak a language rather than your native language. The journey of learning a language is also beautiful.
You may also explore the culture when you learn a new language. For example, If you learn french you can explore France better than in English. I have seen many Japanese and foreigners speaking Hindi, they explore India better in this language.
Don’t you AGREE?
English is not my mother tongue, I learned it and I enjoy writing and speaking in English, though I respect all languages. English is not my first language, but I continue to learn it and improve every day.
You can learn any new language as a hobby or necessity be it Spanish, French, Hindi, or others, and enjoy learning.
How to learn:
To learn any language you may take an online or offline course to build up your basic grammar and vocabulary skills so that you can understand that language. Online learning platforms like Udemy, edX, Futurelearn, and others offer many language-learning courses, any language you want to learn.
You have to also engage yourself in that language. Do these four activities on a daily basis to improve your language skills: Reading, Listening, Writing, and most important Speaking in that language.
Photography is an amazing skill that you must learn. You may consider it a hobby but capturing beautiful images even with your phone presents you with a different personality. Having knowledge about aperture, aspect ratio, right frame, and cinematic shots shine your image and video you shot.
On the other side, Photography helps you capture anything you feel is important to remember, and looking at your stunning captured images motivates you later.
You may create different kinds of images and challenge your creativity. You may also sell your beautiful images as a freelance and make a good amount of money.
It doesn’t matter what your age is and what profession you belong to, you just need a camera to showcase your new skill in front of anyone.
How to learn:
If you’re a beginner in Photography, you may take this course Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography on Udemy.
Or, If you want to learn Photography basics, you may consider enrolling in these two free courses:
7. Solving a Rubik’s cube
Have you ever tried solving a Rubik’s cube? damn! It’s too difficult. When I first tried to solve it, It took me 5 hrs to get it right. Now I don’t take that long but I still need to do more practice.
If you can solve a 3X3 Rubik’s cube within 5-10 minutes, hats off to you. If you can’t solve it, you must learn it. Solving a Rubik’s cube keeps your mind active, improves your memory, patience, and problem-solving skills, and gives you many more benefits.
Isn’t it an important skill to learn?
The earlier you solve it, the better you improve yourself at everything. You will be surprised to know that Max Park is an American Rubik’s Cube speed solver who holds the world record average of 3×3×3 solves (by WCA standards), 4.86 seconds, set in 2022 (source: Wikipedia)
How to learn:
It’s challenging if you try to solve a Rubik’s cube with no experience. It’s better you go with a step-by-step process to solve it. Here are the 5 steps to solve a 3X3 Cube:
- Complete the first layer cross.
- Complete the first layer of corners.
- Complete the second layer.
- Complete the third layer cross.
- Complete the third layer corners.
8. Martial Arts
Now you must be wondering, why I’m saying Martial Arts this time. My intention is not to make you a champion of Martial arts but learning this useful skill gives you a lot of benefits. It makes you strong physically as well as mentally.
It makes you healthy, builds up your confidence, develops self-discipline, and the best part is you get to learn self-defense techniques which is a super necessary skill to learn.
In martial arts, there are many types: Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and more, now you need to decide which you want to practice.
How to learn:
To learn any form of martial arts, watching video tutorials or taking online classes won’t help you much. You better find any martial arts classes near you. Taking classes regularly and practicing on a daily basis will surely help you to become proficient in martial arts.
As we say, Two days of procrastination can break your two months of preparation, so try to never break your consistency otherwise it will be hard for you to continue again.
Sketching is one of my best hobbies. What about you? Are you involved in painting, sketching, sculpture, or any similar arts?
If not, you may learn this skill. Wait, if you’re believing this is one of the skill people are born with, then I’m afraid you’re wrong. It’s just a myth, there is nothing in the world you can’t learn.
There are a lot of benefits you get when you sketch and involve in it. To begin with, it approves your attention span when you stay focused for hours while sketching. In addition to that, the act of sketching develops several different parts of the brain.
Furthermore, it improves hand-eye coordination so that everyday tasks become easier. To know more about these sketching benefits you may check out this article published on Medium.
How to learn:
As I said already, Sketching can be learned easily just like other skills. If you have never drawn anything and want to learn to sketch you need to start with the basics.
Take any cartoon image or character which seems easy to draw. Once you have the image to draw take tiny steps and start your sketch. It’s possible you will mess up everything, and erase many times but make sure you don’t lose your motivation to make the sketch ready.
For a better step-by-step guide about how to sketch, I must recommend you to check out this article and its further lesson. You may also pursue any of the below sketch courses on Udemy in video form content:
- The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced
- The Complete Sketching and Speedpainting Super Course
9. Speed Reading
You might be thinking, Are speed reading or fast typing any kind of skills that you should learn? Well, like other useful skills this skill has also its importance and benefits to learn.
Reading faster and aloud is always good for your brain. It improves your memory, improves your clarity, and overcomes your hesitation and fumble while speaking. Moreover, you can concentrate better and save enough time in speed reading.
The best part that I like and perform speed reading is that whenever we read faster, we push our brains to work harder. You also possess higher levels of self-confidence.
Now, don’t you think It’s time to switch up your reading speed from normal to 1.5x times? Here is how you can improve your speed…
How to learn:
Literally speaking, this time I don’t recommend you take any course, watch tutorials, or something. Speed reading you significantly gain once you start reading aloud on a daily basis. You can add these two exercises to your daily routine to practice and improve your speed reading:
- Read 1-2 articles every day in which you have an interest be it news, finance, business, study blogs or it could be anything.
- Start reading books and novels and finish a book as early as you can. If you’re a college student you may check out our Books for College Students article.
Dancing is another skill you can learn in your leisure time. Have you seen a person doing the moonwalk, Isn’t that look so fascinating?
Well, a moonwalk is just moving your legs but what if you could do a lot more in dancing? Learning to dance will not only increase your social confidence, but it will also improve your fitness, your posture, and your coordination.
As an added bonus, you can use this skill at social events like parties and weddings. Showing off your dance moves lights up the stage. You may read more life benefits of learning to dance. If you are a college student and struggling financially, you may use this skill and perform busking to manage your expenses.
How to learn:
Just like martial arts, this skill can’t be learned by taking online classes especially when you have no experience in it. You better find any dance classes near your place. Make sure you take dance classes of the type you find most attractive. If you like hip-hop, just take classes in this dance style.
Once you become an average dancer who can copy one’s dance moves, then taking online dance classes will surely be fruitful for you.
Trekking is another useful skill to learn that will help you to survive when you travel and look for something adventurous. Imagine traveling and pitching your tent, preparing noodles with your friends, and enjoying the purest nature, doesn’t it all look enjoyable to you?
Not just interesting but with trekking, you obtain a lot of other benefits. It improves physical health immensely, reduces stress, and cleanses your mind. When you travel and perform trekking you interact with different cultures and different types of people.
However, Trekking is easier said than done. Trekking is just like climbing mountains which might look easy to you but it requires lots of courage, useful resources, and enough preparation.
How to learn:
Learning trekking is all about effective training. There is no such course available that can teach you trekking, however, some tips and steps will certainly help you. Hence, here are my guides to prepare yourself for trekking…
- Take care of your health, Include exercise in your daily routine.
- Make yourself adaptable in every weather and place.
- Take your friends along with you.
- Train yourself for better patience.
- Watch a couple of trekking videos on YouTube.
- Plan early and have all trekking essential equipment.
12. Playing Violin or Guitar
If dancing is not your cup of tea, you may learn to play the violin, guitar, or any other musical instrument. Playing these musical instruments is a great way to relax and destress. Whenever I feel low, violin sounds always make me calm.
Not only does it give you some personal benefits, but playing them can also help improve your professional life.
For example, if you are a skilled Guitarist, you can perform busking, showcase your skill to the public and make a handsome amount of money.
Isn’t it a nice skill and hobby to learn?
How to learn:
No matter what musical instrument you decide to learn, you have to take classes to learn them whether you take online classes or offline. Taking the classes not only guides but train you at every step. You may check out Udemy and Skillshare platforms to learn any musical instrument that you’re passionate about.
Storytelling is an essential part of any communication medium, whether it be oral, written, or electronic. It allows you sharing of emotions and ideas, which is why it is so valuable in the workplace and personal life.
By learning how to tell stories, employees can better connect with one another and build trust. In addition, storytelling can be used to entertain employees, motivate them, and teach them new information.
Storytelling might seem easy to you because it just telling a story to anybody. However, telling a story that can grab people’s attention, and inspire the audience is an art that ones have to learn.
Have you ever seen or listened to Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, and to the name of a few Tedx Storytellers like Praveen Wadalker? Their way of narrating a story is just amazing, you can’t get distracted while listening to them.
You might have wonderful and inspiring stories to share but If you don’t convey them in the right way, no one would like to listen to them.
How to learn:
Well, this useful skill only those can learn who really like to share their stories and who want to stand alone and inspire the masses. Now story means I’m not talking about harry potter, or comic stories. Here I’m talking about real-life stories that could be personal or you hear from someone else.
Remember, any stories you share should include struggle and learning. Here is a perfect example of storytelling…
To improve your storytelling skill, you may read this article published by Forbes that certainly boosts your storytelling skill.
If you have no idea about storytelling, you may also take the course Intro to Storytelling: Wow Your Crowd on Udemy which will give you a basic guide.
14. Writing Skill
If you’re reading this article and my writing convince you to take action then I have mastered this skill. Similar to storytelling and persuasion skill, writing skill is equally important.
This skill can help you personally and professionally whether it’s for writing an engaging LinkedIn post or writing effective copy that brings sales. I believe this skill is for people who are a bit shy or who are unable to deliver their content in speaking form.
However, I would recommend you learn this useful skill apart from these two reasons. If you are a college student having good writing skills (application) can convince your professor for granting leave. It also opens lots of opportunities for you to make money as a side hustle by being a freelance content writer or blogger like me.
How to learn:
Here my experience can guide you better on how to improve your writing skill. Consider following these tips to write better:
- Read articles and notice how writer structured their content.
- Do deep and thorough research to write better copies.
- Write your thoughts, ideas, or any kind of experience on Quora, medium, and LinkedIn-like platforms and see the reader’s response.
- Start a blog and write every day: In writing, we say your today’s writing must be better than yesterday’s. The more you write the more you will nail this skill. This is exactly how I improved.
15. Time Management
Again managing your time effectively is a super useful skill to learn. Regardless of what profession you’re in, this skill everyone should master.
Learning how to manage your time better helps you to achieve all your goals and tasks on time, have a work-life balance, and make you punctual. You must have made routine so many times but have you ever succeeded at it?
Whether it could be waking up early for exercise, reading a book, going to work or studying, and doing lots of other household work, It’s not easy to manage all these things in a day, however, it’s possible. You just need to know how to manage your time effectively.
How to learn:
You must have seen lots of time management course ads, those courses are great but I’m not a big fan of these courses. I believe you only know how to manage your time better.
However, there are some time management tips and tricks that can definitely help you.
I follow a simple yet effective technique given by Gyan Vatsal Swami: In 24 hours of the day, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, now we have to divide the remaining 8 hours into 3 slots 3F (family, friends, faith), 3H (health, hygiene, hobby), and 3S (soul, service, smile).
With this technique, you can balance everything. If you’re not comfortable with this technique, you may watch this time management guide video that also works amazingly:
16. Basic Home Maintenance & Repairing
Whether you are a college student or a family man, learning how to do maintenance of your house and do small repairs or DIY will always be beneficial for you.
When it comes to cleaning your house, changing your fan switch, repairing your vehicle, or changing a punctured wheel, it’s not okay to always call the mechanic for a small job. I’m not just talking about the repair things even learning to decorate and clean your house can be also done by you.
During the festival time I love painting and decorating my house, it’s one of my hobbies that I enjoy much. If you also want to learn these useful skills as a hobby here is how you can do this.
How to learn:
Again I won’t recommend you to take any courses here unless you find something important to learn in home maintenance. However, to get the best tips and guidance in DIY home decor, you may follow below websites:
Now It’s Your Turn:
So we have broken down the 16 useful skills to learn this year, however, there are many skills that I have not talked about otherwise this guide will turn into an e-book.
I hope you enjoyed it and found this article useful.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What are the skills you’re going to learn from the above 16 skills? Would you like to add any skill I didn’t mention and that you find useful to learn?
Let me know in the comment.
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