New year, new goals, new you. If you’re looking to raise your salary or just find a new job altogether, brushing up on high income skills is one of the smartest ways to invest in yourself. The internet makes it even easier by bringing highly-skilled professors and professional instructors into the palm of your hand. I’ve taken a number of online classes this year and love the simplicity of watching them on the go or on the couch.

Now it’s your turn. If you want to recession-proof yourself, learn to create passive income, or just learn something new, take note of these in-demand online classes and certifications. Perhaps a project management certification will help you add value and hone your skills. Or a course in blogging will help you crush your passive income goals. With so many to choose from, there’s bound to be a right fit for you. Here’s the breakdown.

Online Classes That Will increase Your Salary

PMP: Project Management Professional

The PMP certification is a big mama of the business and tech world. It requires a rigorous exam, and with a 60% pass rate a boot camp is recommended (not required) to prepare. The PMP can also provide a significant advantage when it comes to earnings (20% higher on average). That’s a significant return on your investment of time and money. The best part? It doesn’t take forever. Most PMP boot camps are a few consecutive weeks or weekends.

Price: $405.00+

PMP Exam Requirements: A secondary degree (high school diploma or associate’s degree); 7,500 hours leading and directing projects; 35 hours of project management education; or a four-year degree; 4,500 hours leading and directing projects; and 5 hours of project management education.

CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management

The CAPM is for professionals with basic project management experience. It’s the perfect stepping stone to managing larger projects, gaining more responsibility, and adding project management skills into your current role and resume.  The PMI offers an option to take the three hour CAPM exam online (in your home or office).

Price: $225+

CAPM Exam Requirements: A secondary degree (high school diploma or associate’s degree); 1,500 hours of project experience; or 23 hours of project management education.

CSM: Certified ScrumMaster

Scrum is a methodology that allows a team to organize and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles. The CSM from Scrum Alliance is well respected.  The organization has more than 450,000 certified practitioners worldwide. In December 2018 ZipRecruiter reported Certified ScrumMaster’s salaries as high as $137,500 and as low as $82,500.

Price: Varies from $800 to $1,200+

CSM Exam Requirements: Attend an in-person, two-day (16 hour) CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).



Some of the below courses don’t have any pre-requisites to get started too:

Digital Marketing

From managing social media for businesses to bringing in new business through online advertisements, Digital Marketing is a skill that has been in demand for the last decade and is only growing. Even better, a number of highly valuable skills are taught for free. The three most popular courses we recommend include: Google Ads certification, Google Garage Certification, and Hubspot Academy.

Price: Free

Requirements: Internet access.

Big Data & Data Science

Today, data science ranks as one of the most in-demand careers of our time. According to Glassdoor, big data practitioners can earn upwards of $260,000 when they reach management level. But what exactly is big data? With the internet explosion, smart homes, and sophisticated advertisements in every corner, data is literally being collected all around us. Data Scientists help make sense of the data by organizing and managing it.

Noteable schools like IBM and John Hopkins University offers a Data Science Professional Certificate through Coursera.

Price: Course offered on Coursera which starts at $39 per month.

Requirements: Internet access.

LinkedIn Learning

In 2015, LinkedIn acquired the popular online education Lynda. The marriage made sense, since millions of professionals used Lynda to take online courses often guaranteed to help them level up their skills or even land a promotion.

Even better? Unlike other platforms that offer online courses through universities, LinkedIn Learning won’t burn a hole in your pocket. LinkedIn gives you a free month just to try the platform. After that monthly access starts from $29.99. They have a wide range of course offerings with unlimited access. I think the writing course is the most worthwhile.

Price: 1 Month Free Trial, Then $24.99

Requirements: Internet access.


Coursera offers high-quality courses from top U.S. universities across the nation. Looking for a course you can actually earn college credit for? This is where you want to be. A few things to note– Coursera courses start and stop at specific times– just like real college courses. They are also more demanding as students have homework, quizzes, and tests. But the platform has attracted some of the brightest minds to learn at incredibly high-levels. If you count yourself as a serious learner and want a certification or college credit from a respected platform, Coursera is for you. Want to test it out and see if it’s right for you? The platform offers a Join for free.

Price: Varies by course. $39- $79 per month

Requirements: Internet access.


Udemy is one of my favorite online learning platforms. If you’ve never done any type of online learning, I think Udemy is one of the best ways to ease into the scene. Udemy’s course selection is vast and interesting. The platform makes it incredibly easy to start and stop whenever you’d like, teaching styles are casual, and typically there aren’t any quizzes or tests. (Now that’s my kind of school.) Udemy’s instructors are everyday people who have found success in their area of teaching and can back it up.

Another great aspect? If you have something to teach, it’s simple to launch your own course on Udemy and start creating passive income from scratch.

Price: Varies. $9.99+ per class

Requirements: Internet access.


A-list legends and a creative’s dream. From courses on screenwriting to adventure photography, Masterclass is a stunning breath of fresh air in the online class syndicate. Pay $180 annually for an all-access pass or $90 per class.

Feed your creative soul and learn from the likes of Step Curry, Gordon Ramsay, Malcom Gladwell, David Axelrod and more of the biggest, most notable names of our time.

Price: $180 per year.

Requirements:Internet access.


Think blogging is just for so called “Instagram influencers“? Think again. Thousands of successful blogs exist on a number of complex topics– from chemistry to investing to fashion. Each day, ordinary professionals are discovering the power and impact of building an online presence.

Unlike starting a blog 10 years ago, there are tried and true techniques you can put in place to skip the headaches and start making money. Coursera’s Search Engine Optimization Specialization course by UC Davis will teach you one of the most important aspects of a successful blog.

Investing in your education before launching a blogging business is one of the best things you can do. And the longer you wait, the longer success will take. So start now.

Price: Join for free

Requirements: Internet access.

Featured photo by Toa Heftiba