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Mar 20, 2021
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Cooking at home, skipping exotic vacations to far-off lands, and scaling-back on the late-night pandemic online shopping binges — can be great ways to keep debt down and stay ahead of expenses. But you know what might help even more? Earning more money.

I’m not talking about working harder. The last thing most of us need is another side-hustle to juggle in our already too busy lives. Besides, you already have a job, and you’re pretty good at it. But lately, you've been wondering what it would feel like to command a higher salary.

For many of us, it’s as simple as taking an online course — even for free. According to a recent survey by online education platform Coursera, a whopping 87% of people who learned a new skill over the past year said it boosted their career financially.

Here are seven of the most promising online courses to provide a payday boost, without even leaving your house.

Digital marketing
Remember when people used flyers to advertise their business? While you might still see an ad or two stapled on a public bulletin board in your local coffee shop, most mainstream marketing has moved online. Whether you are selling a service, restaurant meal, yoga practice, pandemic art project, or even your latest mask-making skills, learning a bit about digital marketing is a must.

If you are promoting your own side gig, you can learn the basics for free in Google's bite-sized classes in the Google Digital Garage. Or, if you are looking for even more in-depth education on how to drive customer behavior online, you can get a mini-MBA on the topic for $79 a month through Coursera’s six-course overview “Digital Marketing Specialization” class. Coursera’s site says nearly 50% of people who took this course managed to switch jobs as a result, and nearly 16% of people got a pay raise.

Learn to code
Coding sounds hard. And while your teen already understands it, it could very well be the last thing you ever intend to learn. But simply polishing up on your technical skills can do everything from increase your value at the job you have, help you get a new job, or provide a profitable side gig. And, in the world of tech, flexible schedules and high salaries that let you work from home are the norm.

There are countless online classes to help you master everything from building Web sites in WordPress (less than $20 at Udemy) or go all in and learn the highest-earning programming language out there at the moment — Scala (and potentially earn $150K a year) — at Coursera for $49 a month.

IT support
Most of us already provide some kind of IT support for ourselves or our loved ones. But beyond the basic, “did you turn it off and back on again,” troubleshooting tech issues can be a huge pain. If you’re already the go-to in your family for gadget glitches, consider actually making money from it too.

There’s a huge need for people who can help identify and fix all levels of technical troubles. Google recently launched an online classroom designed to help people find a career in tech support. Try its free introductory class to see if this might work for you. If it seems like a fit, dive in and get a micro-Bachelors degree IT at EdX.org ($899).

Project management
According to jobs site The Ladders, project management is one of the six key skills that will earn you the most money in 2021. This is another job you can often do remotely as well. It's not easy to keep everyone focused on work and meeting goals, but if you do, and do it well, you could be in high demand.
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