We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is already being stoked by a mixed bag of technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, the blockchain, and quantum computing. But there’s another disruption happening below the waves: the rise of the freelancer.
The Freelancing in America Survey from October 2017 said more than half of the American population will be working away from cubicles in 10 years. And the best time to prepare for the future? Today.
The five courses below will teach you the skills and knowledge necessary to take advantage of the fastest growing freelance jobs that are opening up right now.
Total students enrolled: 30,011
Course length: 2.5 hours
Key lesson: Understand what Bitcoin is and how it works.
Upwork, the largest global marketplace for freelancers ranked Bitcoin as the number one skill in demand today. Bitcoin trading is a hype that will fade, but the foundation for blockchain technology remains strong. Blockchain will reduce costs and enhance privacy across industries. That’s why the skills for implementing this tech is in great demand and it’s not limited to fintech.
Even top universities like MIT and Cambridge are paying attention with their own courses. But you can start with a foundation course that will give you the basics of cryptocurrencies in less than three hours. This bestselling course could be the first low-cost step to understand the science behind the cryptography.
Total students enrolled: 58,000
Course length: 21 hours
Key lesson: Learn the fundamentals of Go programming.
Oh, no! Another programming language! But Go or GoLang could be one of the most wanted skills for the cloud-based future and the servers which will run it. The compiled language is close to C++ in its characteristics and performance. But easier to read, easier to install and maintain. It was designed to solve problems common to networking companies such as Google. Plus, it is maintained by Google and has an open source community behind it.
The course takes you through the basic syntax, right through to loops, functions, and data structures. There are more advanced courses on Udemy but this one does not ask for any prior programming experience. It is also a quick bridge course for those who want to jump from another language.
Total students enrolled: 3,269
Course length: 4 hours
Key lesson: Build simple robots and learn how to develop it as a product.
The digital revolution started with the garage startups we know as Apple and Amazon today. The Fourth Industrial Revolution puts robotics at the center. Cyborgs are far away but startups have made headway in designing prosthetics, warehousing solutions, and drones.
Sites like Upwork and Freelancer have started listing team jobs for robotics. Many of them combine skills in machine learning and computer vision with robotics.
Okay, you won’t be building cyborgs yet. But simple motorized robots that can avoid obstacles is a good place to learn the ropes. The theory will take you to the mechanisms of sensors, actuators, and motor drives. After that, the boring bits on market research and product development take over.
Total students enrolled: 9,297
Course length: 9.5 hours
Key lesson: Develop your own augmented reality app
Coding augmented reality apps (or games) is just one of the subsets of building apps for mobile platforms. iOS 11 can run AR apps and right now it has a huge user base. Google has its own ARCore dev platform while Apple runs ARKit. By 2021, it could be a $108 billion market by some estimates.
As a freelancer, you can design a prototype that can be further developed by a big company. Or you can look for a freelance developer with your own idea of an AR app. Either way, some background knowledge helps. The 11 AR apps you learn to build in this course could give you the edge to tap into this future as a freelancer.
Total students enrolled: 240,049
Course length: 24.5 hours
Key lesson: Learn all about network security and penetration testing.
The Complete Ethical Hacking Course is probably the most favorited page on Udemy. Ethical hacking, or penetration testing, is one of those black arts which isn’t going away soon. Exploiting security loopholes can earn you a median salary of $79K per year in the United States. You can work as a freelancer and with experience graduate to the role of a cybersecurity consultant.
So, why not use this course to see if you have the chops to become one? This is a comprehensive course on ethical hacking and will cost you less than a certification down the line. Begin with any level of knowledge and crosscheck your interest in network administration and security.
Keep Pace With Your Skills
Businesses change quickly. As a freelancer, you can be more nimble at evolving with the demands of the market. If you are uncertain of your career path, these are just five in-demand zero risk skills that can show you the way ahead. Remember, every paid course on Udemy comes with:
- Lifetime access
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Certificate of completion
For now, the skills mentioned here are future-proof. But even as a freelancer, it is important to build up a few soft skills alongside the technical ones. Just to keep the robots from taking your paycheck.