13 Best High Income Skills to Learn for 2024

December 30, 2023

14 min read

A person with short, dark brown hair smiles while they work on learning some high income skills on their laptop in a coffee shop.

Although you can start learning a high income skill any time, choosing one or two skills you’re interested in learning more about this year is a great idea. Not only can it build your skill set, but it also sets you apart from other applicants in such a competitive job market. 

We’ll give you an overview on some of the most common skill types and of course, the best 13 high income skills you should consider exploring. 

Types of High Income Skills

There’s no one high income skill — in fact, there are tons of high income skills available for you to learn and experiment with. There’s so much variety in the types of skills you can learn. The possibilities are endless. 

Here are some of the most common types of high income skills you can dive into.

Creative high income skills

If you’re more creative and intuitive, learning some creative high income skills might be worth your while. 

Creative high income skills can be divided up into tons of subcategories to better select what could be a good fit for you. 

For example, digital content creation is a huge industry, today more than ever. People who work in digital content need to be expert storytellers to captivate and engage audiences. People who fit into this category include music and film producers, animators, videographers, and photographers. Each of those categories require people to have a good grasp of personal branding, aesthetic, and user preferences.

Similarly, marketing and communications are both areas that require lots of creativity and originality. This includes things like content strategy, content marketing, copywriting, and public relations, which are all brand-heavy and rely on storytelling.

Some of the many creative high income skills you can pick up include things like:

  • Web design
  • Social media marketing
  • Content creation
  • Graphic design
  • Video editing
  • Content strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Editing

Although they’re more risky or lucrative creative high income skills, you can also take a deep dive into things like product design, teaching, coaching, and fine arts. Even though the success of these areas can vary wildly, networking and building a solid portfolio can help.

Technical high income skills

Perhaps the most common type of high income skills are technical. There are a great many industries that encompass technical skills, too. 

For example, data-driven areas drive much of the need for technical knowledge. Both computer science and data science — especially learning programming languages — can put you a league ahead of others in terms of how valuable you are as a professional asset. Knowing how to use statistical analysis techniques, AI models, database and cloud platform technologies, and data pipelines can make you a better job applicant. 

Other areas that have room for technical high income skills include cybersecurity. Having a solid working knowledge of cybersecurity can lead to interesting positions like threat intelligence analyst, security analyst, and cryptography engineer, among many others.

Software development is also hugely important, now more than ever. You could explore areas like mobile app development, development and operations, and full-stack development.

The most popular technical high income skills to learn include things like: 

  • Computer science (especially programming languages)
  • Data engineering
  • Vulnerability assessment analysis
  • Machine learning and deep learning 
  • Encryption algorithm programming
  • Data science

There are also some less common high income skills on the technical side of things if you want to stand out. These include cloud computing architecture, AR and VR development, blockchain development. 

Managerial and business high income skills

Both managerial and business high income skills are not only versatile, but also perfect transferable skills no matter what industry you’re in. Knowing how to leverage your executive presence and be a leader is important in so many roles. 

Leadership-related skills make up a large portion of managerial and business high income skills. Abilities like effective communication, conflict resolution, empowerment, and delegation are often underestimated in terms of importance. 

Having a vision and being able to think strategically is key. It allows you to step into the shoes of a competitor and understand what they’re doing and why. 

The analytical side of managerial and business high income skills also comes in handy. Financial analysis as well as financial modeling can give you the power to make better decisions for your brand or company. Using data to drive your decision making should be at the forefront. 

Knowing how to negotiate — especially if you work in finance or marketing — is always useful. 

A handful of the most common managerial and business high income skills include: 

  • Project management
  • Effective communication 
  • Negotiation
  • Competitive analysis
  • Business model development
  • Financial analysis
  • Leadership
  • Conflict resolution
  • Human resources management

Soft skills

Honing in on your soft skills and building that initial foundation is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Many people prioritize technical skills over soft skills, but the latter is just as important. Communication is at the forefront. 

Some high income skills that fit into this category include things like:

  • Adaptability
  • Effective communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Active and empathetic listening 
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional intelligence

Emerging high income skills

The most in demand high income skills are constantly evolving and changing. In particular, AI and machine learning are both in the limelight. Knowing how to use generative AI is one example of a high income skill in emergence. Automation, robotics, and explainable AI (XAI) all offer a foundation of knowledge that yields high income skills.

There are tons of other notable skills that can set you apart from others that are still in their earliest stages. For example, some other emerging high income skills fall into areas such as:

  • Digital transformation
  • Blockchain development
  • Climate change solutions
  • Edge computing
  • Change management
  • Data storytelling
  • Metaverse development and design
  • Genomics and biotechnology
  • Corporate social and sustainability responsibility  
  • Data analysis with privacy preservation
  • Cybersecurity and ethical hacking
  • NFT monetization and management

How to Use AI to Practice Some High Income Skills

You can use AI to practice high income skills through communication technology tools like Yoodli. 

Yoodli is an AI-powered public speaking coach that analyzes your speaking patterns and speech to provide data and actionable insights you can use to improve. It’s perfect for practicing soft skills like effective communication. 

You can practice high income skills like effective communication with Yoodli.

For example, if you want to practice high income skills like effective communication, try Yoodli’s conversation simulator. You can customize the experience by choosing an AI conversation partner (and its personality) as well as a topic. It uses generative AI to provide thoughtful, realistic conversation based on your speech.

A screenshot from Yoodli's conversation coach function, which makes practicing high income skills like effective communication easy
If you want to improve a high income skill like communication, Yoodli is a great tool.

After your simulated conversation, you’ll receive a detailed report of all your speaking metrics, such as: 

  • Your word choice
  • How many filler words you used
  • Your speaking pace
  • How loud you speak
  • Your body language

Because Yoodli acts as a coach, it’ll give you individualized tips and tricks to improve your skills. For example, if you happen to use lots of fillers, it might recommend that you slow down your speaking pace or implement a few natural pauses while you’re talking. 

You can get started for free and download the app right to your desktop for ease of use.

Top 13 High Income Skills to Explore

Although knowing the types is a great first step, it can help to take a closer look at some of those technical, creative, managerial, business, and soft skills in depth. You’ll be better able to identify which skills you might be most interested in

Here are the top 13 high income skills you should consider learning about, from the most popular skills to more niche skills. 

1. Cybersecurity 

It should come as no surprise that cybersecurity is a very valuable high income skill to explore. This skill can encompass many smaller skills, but the general goal is protecting data and systems from cyber threats and attacks.

Cybersecurity can include areas like security analytics, including how to conduct penetration testing and incident response, how to understand vulnerability assessment, and how to safeguard infrastructure. People value protecting confidential information, especially as the world continues to become interconnected online. 

If you delve into cybersecurity, you might also be analyzing threats and threat intelligence by tracking potential threats. Understanding the common cyberattack methods and implementing proactive defenses is a huge part of the skill and what makes it so valuable. 

You don’t have to be a cryptography engineer to pick up some cybersecurity skills either. Some of the most common elements you can start with include things like:

  • Basic network security concepts
  • Software updates
  • Online safety basics
  • Operating systems and how they differ
  • User account management
  • Password security 

2. Data analysis

Even though data analysis isn’t a new field, it’s still considered a high income skill in virtually any industry. Data foundation is a great place to start. 

Chances are, you have some understanding of statistics, whether that’s from a high school class, a book you read, or just wondering what the class average was for a test at some point. Data analysis marries tools like statistics with data visualization and analysis to make informed predictions. 

If you’re interested in data analysis, you could consider reading up on: 

  • Different data types
  • Data storytelling
  • Coding basics
  • Statistics concepts, like inferential and descriptive statistics
  • Data visualization tools like charts and graphs
  • Data manipulation through programming

3. Storytelling

In a nutshell, storytelling is the ability to capture an audience’s attention and convey a message through narratives. It’s an extremely transferable skill since you can use this in any job, whether you’re a journalist, a data scientist, or a tour guide. 

There are many modes of storytelling that you could explore. Some of the most common avenues include: 

  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Podcasting
  • Graphic design
  • Scriptwriting
  • Journalism
  • Photography
  • Videography 

With storytelling, you can experiment with different platforms and practice using your voice and narrative to influence audiences. If you want to explore this high income skill, you can start by diving into narrative structure and how that can affect your message. 

Aspects like character development aren’t just important for fiction authors. Character development is another area you can explore even in areas like public relations, videography, photography, podcasting, and almost any other storytelling area. 

4. User experience (UX)

Like AI, user experience (UX) is also in its infancy, but it’s more important than ever. Tailoring your content to the user determines its success and this applies to many areas. 

This high income skill requires you to have a basic understanding of users. Audience research is a great place to start. You can create user personas to better understand your target audience, for example. Tracking interactions can also be helpful for painting a broader picture. 

Usually, both web design and user interface are naturally entwined with user experience. Whatever your product or service is, it needs to be usable, accessible, and intuitive. 

It’s also important to go into user experience with a problem-solving approach and a good attitude. It can be a frustrating field sometimes, but it’s a worthwhile skill to explore. 

5. Surgical robotics

Surgical robotics isn’t a high income skill that you can learn overnight. This skill is mostly helpful for those in the medical field, particularly in surgery. 

To be successful in surgical robotics, you’d need a strong foundation of knowledge regarding human anatomy, physiology, robotics, computer science, and medical technology. 

Once you have that foundation to build off of, you can delve into fascinating subjects like robotic manipulation, surgical robotics platforms, simulation training, and of course, robotics safety. 

With this skill, you’ll have to constantly monitor the field for any advancements coming down the pike. It requires adaptability and lifelong learning, both soft skills that come in handy here. 

6. Digital marketing

Sales and marketing have both experienced a shift to the digital world in some way, shape, or form. As such, digital marketing is a great high income skill to learn. 

Start by building your knowledge of what the digital landscape looks like, especially when it comes to marketing basics. The digital marketing ecosystem — composed of elements like social media, email marketing, and search engines — is constantly evolving. 

In a similar vein, having a working knowledge of SEO is incredibly helpful when it comes to this high income skill. You’ll be able to make better informed decisions and ensure your marketing captivates your target audience.  

Other skills that might come in handy include things like:

  • Keyword analysis and research
  • A/B testing
  • Content creation
  • Web analytics tools
  • Paid advertising platforms expertise
  • Data reporting, interpretation, and visualization 
  • Social media content strategy

7. Quantum computing

Like surgical robotics, quantum computing is another high income skill that you won’t be able to pick up in a day’s time. There’s no way to sugarcoat it: quantum computing is complex and difficult to learn. Still, that’s part of what makes it so valuable

To start, you need a solid understanding of not just quantum mechanics, but also computer science, discrete mathematics, and linear algebra. 

From there, you can move on to quantum programming languages like Stancil or Quil and frameworks to implement quantum algorithms. For example, it can help at this stage to refresh your knowledge of: 

  • Grover’s algorithm
  • Shore’s algorithm
  • How quantum machine learning works 

Also like surgical robotics, the field of quantum computing is constantly seeing breakthroughs and updated knowledge that you’ll need to keep up with. 

8. Telemedicine

If you work in the field of medicine, telemedicine is an emerging high income skill still in its earliest stages. It’s definitely worth putting in the time to get comfortable with this concept and skill. 

If you’re in med school or you’re in the healthcare industry, chances are, you’ve already worked in telemedicine. Mobile apps, virtual visits, and digital health records are all examples. 

In a nutshell, you need to understand how you can best apply your clinical practice and medical knowledge in a digital setting. This could include learning different virtual exams and check-up techniques and relationship-building when you’re not in the same room as your patient. 

Because technology is central to telemedicine, people working on developing this high income skill should be comfortable working with various platforms and technology. This includes how HIPAA applies to this type of setting. These ethical and legal considerations continue to evolve. 

9. Project management

Project management is an often underrated high income skill that goes overlooked. However, knowing how to manage your time and tasks is invaluable. A good start is understanding the project lifecycle and how to measure the scope of the tasks involved. 

Some of the key elements of project management are collaboration and communication. Knowing how to actively listen, provide valuable feedback, and problem solve are all essential. 

Other microskills you need to be an expert in project management include things like: 

  • Risk assessment and management
  • Data analysis
  • Financial (or material) assessment and management
  • Human resource (HR) management 

10. Bioprinting

As one of the most complex high income skills on our list, this isn’t for everyone. Bioprinting — a brilliant marriage between biology and 3D printing — is an emerging field with promising implications.

If you’re interested in this skill, starting with the fundamental knowledge is non-negotiable. Start studying things like 3D printing technologies and methods, tissue engineering, cell biology, biolinks, and biomaterials. It’s a lot to chew, but they’re all required areas for background knowledge if you want to hone this high income skill. 

From there, you can learn about more bioprinting-specific subjects, like the processes and methods, equipment, systems, and computer-aided design (CAD) for bioprinting. 

Aspects like cell differentiation and biofabrication, cell culture methods, and biocompatibility testing are also crucial to understanding bioprinting. 

11. Digital content creation

One of the fastest growing high income skills is digital content creation: content optimized for a digital space.When you think of content, you might first think of the story-telling element. But content strategy is half the battle when you’re creating content online. That’s why it’s so important to know your audience

Of course, you’ll also want to sharpen your writing and editing skills if you want to perfect this high income skill. Other areas you should explore include:

  • Video production and editing
  • A/B testing
  • SEO and copywriting
  • Social media content strategy
  • Virtual design
  • Web analytics
  • Podcasting and audio production
  • Social media marketing

All of these elements can help give you the tools you need to succeed in the digital content space. 

12. Software development

Although it might sound like an overwhelming high income skill to learn, software development is very doable. It’s a really exciting field to delve into.

If you’re interested in software development, a great place to start would be programming basics. That includes things like:

  • Programming principles, like variables, loops,  functions, data types, conditionals, and algorithms 
  • Code structure and syntax, including syntax rules and coding in your programming language(s) of choice

After you’ve got a foundation, you can dive into the problem-solving skills you’ll need. Algorithmic thinking is essential for folks in software development. 

13. Cloud computing

Knowing about cloud computing is not only a high income skill, but also an emerging field that has plenty of opportunity. Starting to learn about cloud computing requires a solid foundation of how the cloud landscape works.

To begin, you should have a thorough understanding of cloud deployment models, cloud service models, and the current cloud providers. From there, you can explore the different cloud technologies to learn more about storage, networking, and visualization tech.

Other areas you’ll need to know about include compliance and security and programming, since there are cloud-specific tools. 

The Bottom Line 

Taking the time to learn a high income skill or two going into 2024 is a great personal and professional investment. Plus, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself trying to break into a new area like quantum computing. You can instead focus your energy on improving or learning a few new soft skills. The world is your oyster when it comes to high income skills.



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