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Last year was a hard one on wallets around the world. With a global pandemic shuttering storefronts and offices, many people had to say goodbye to jobs or accept fewer hours than usual.

If you saw a dip in your pay, the gradual reopening of the economy may come as a relief. It’s a chance to get back into the job market and start earning more money. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be the only job seeker looking for a boost in their income. So how will you stand head and shoulders above the competition? Try improving your skillset.

What Skills Are In-Demand for Jobs Today

It should come as no surprise that jobs in the medical industry saw a bump following a healthcare crisis. According to CNBC, nurses, healthcare supporting staff, and mental health specialists saw the biggest increase in 2020. 

For more specifics, you might need to focus on your home state to see which industries are hiring the most jobs. The government of Tennessee, for example, reports the largest job growth occurred in the trade/transportation/utility sector, with the leisure/hospitality and government sectors following in second and third place, respectively. 

How Can You Afford to Learn New Skills?

Thinking about going back to school can have you worried about money. In-class instruction at a place of higher learning can be expensive, with most students working full-time and taking out student loans to cover these costs. 

If you fall short of what you need, be careful of how you supplement your student loans with online installment loans and lines of credit. Unlike student loans, these online cash advances aren’t designed for education. They’re ideal for unexpected emergencies when you fall short of what you need for urgent auto repairs, household repairs, and medical expenses. 

If your savings fall short of an unexpected non-educational cost, you may consider a Tennessee line of credit as a backup. Just like the job market, online lines of credit can get as specific as your home state, so make sure you narrow down your search to only online loans Tennessee has to offer — remembering to sub in your state if you live elsewhere. 

Where Do You Look for Courses?

If money is a concern, you can find smaller, more affordable options than college. It depends on what industry — while a nurse may need practical classes taught at a college, a web developer could rely on skills they learn online for free.

If you don’t need to be on campus, check out these MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) for options:

  • Codecademy: You can learn programming languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python. Best of all, it’s free!
  • Coursera: A subscription-based payment of $39–79 per month unlocks thousands of courses spanning multiple fields from some of the biggest universities and companies. 
  • edX: Harvard and MIT have come together to offer more than 2,600 online courses. If you want a certificate, the most you’ll pay per class is $300. 

Time to Go Back to School

The Internet has made it easier and more affordable to brush up on your skills than ever before. Take the time to figure out what specialization you want and then start studying. A few courses could help you further your career and make more money in no time!