15 High-Income Skills to Learn in 2023

Updated October 3, 2023

A person types on a laptop next to computer monitors and across from a coworker in an office setting.

In the modern world, the demand for highly skilled professionals is increasing, and so is the need for high-income skills. With ever-evolving technologies and digital platforms, having the right skills can make a huge difference in your earning potential. From technical abilities such as coding and web design to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things, you can learn numerous high-income skills this year.

In this article, we define high-income skills and list 15 examples you can pursue developing to help you potentially earn a better salary.

What are high-income skills?

High-income skills enable an individual to earn more money than someone with a lower skill set. These skills are often in high demand and enable individuals to take on higher-paying positions or increase their earning potential in their current roles. 

High-income skills often require more specialized knowledge and experience than other skills and can be more difficult to learn. However, the effort to learn these skills is often well worth it, as the payoffs can be quite lucrative. 

High-income skills include technical abilities such as coding and web design, creative abilities such as graphic design and video editing, managerial abilities such as project management and financial analysis and communication abilities such as public speaking and copywriting.

Below you can find a list of 15 high-demand, high-income skills to learn in 2023, in no particular order:

1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that allows machines to learn from data and make decisions on their own—it’s a rapidly growing field that is expected to continue to expand.

As AI technology continues to advance, so do the applications for it. In 2023, AI will be used to completely automate tasks and processes, improve customer service, automate security systems and much more. AI can also be used to detect patterns and correlations in data that would otherwise be hard to detect.

Artificial Intelligence technology is quickly becoming a must-have skill in many industries with companies increasingly looking for individuals who understand the basics of AI and can use it to create solutions for specific problems. To become an AI expert, you must understand the fundamentals of programming, data science and machine learning. Having a deep understanding of the latest AI technologies and applications is also essential. With the right skills and knowledge, you can become an AI expert and command high salaries in the job market.

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Related: Get a Job in Artificial Intelligence (8 AI Career Paths)

2. Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a rapidly growing technology that is expected to become even more essential in the years to come. It allows businesses to store data, access applications, and run software on remote servers, instead of using physical hardware. By using cloud computing, businesses can save money on costs associated with maintaining their own IT infrastructure and can quickly scale up their operations with minimal effort.

At its core, cloud computing is all about providing users with access to computing resources on demand. This is accomplished by utilizing virtualized computing resources like networks, storage and computing power. By leveraging the cloud, businesses can reduce the amount of hardware they need to purchase, as well as the associated costs of maintaining it.

In addition, cloud computing allows businesses to easily access powerful computing resources and can help them quickly scale up their operations to meet the demands of their customers. Furthermore, cloud computing can help businesses reduce their IT costs by reducing the amount of hardware they need to purchase and maintain. Finally, cloud computing can provide businesses with a competitive advantage, as they can quickly and easily access powerful computing resources that would otherwise be too expensive or too time-consuming to get.

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Related: 16 Cloud Computer Careers (Plus Salary and Common Duties)

3. Data science

Data science is one of the most lucrative high-income skills to learn in 2023. It is a field of study that uses scientific methods, algorithms and systems to analyze large datasets and uncover meaningful patterns, trends and insights. Data science professionals are in high demand, as organizations are increasingly using data to inform decisions and optimize their operations.

Data science professionals need to be well-versed in mathematics, statistics and computer science, as well as data analysis tools such as Python, R and Apache Spark. They should also have a solid understanding of machine learning algorithms and techniques. Data scientists must be able to communicate effectively, as they will often need to present their findings to collaborators.

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Related: How To Become a Data Scientist (With Skills and Salary)

4. Machine learning

In the coming years, machine learning will become increasingly important in the workplace. This high-income skill can help you solve complex problems by developing algorithms that can detect patterns and make predictions from large datasets. 

People with a background in machine learning can use their expertise to create software that can automate mundane tasks, as well as create software that can effectively respond to customer inquiries. Additionally, machine learning can be used to create algorithms that can detect fraud or even predict future trends in customer behavior.

This high-income skill requires you to have a deep understanding of mathematics and computer science, as well as knowledge of the various machine-learning algorithms. You must also have strong coding skills, as well as experience with various programming languages such as Python and R. With this knowledge, you can use machine learning to create software that can automate tasks and make predictions. With the increasing demand for machine-learning skills, this is an ideal high-income skill to learn in 2023.

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Related: How To Break Into Machine Learning in 11 Steps 

5. Blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is one of the most talked-about skills to learn in 2023. Blockchain technology is the foundation for digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and is used to secure transactions. Blockchain is a distributed, tamper-resistant ledger that is used to store and manage data in a secure way. It enables individuals and organizations to share data and transactions without the need for a central authority.

Blockchain technology has a wide range of use cases such as banking, healthcare, supply chain management and more. With the increased demand for this technology, the need for qualified professionals in the field is growing. Learning blockchain technology requires a deep understanding of cryptography, distributed systems and consensus algorithms. Knowing the fundamentals of blockchain technology and its application in various industries will help you stand out in the job market. Companies are now looking for individuals with the skills and knowledge to design and develop blockchain solutions for their businesses.

With the right skills and knowledge, you can become a valuable asset in the industry and potentially earn a high income. You can also use blockchain technology to create your own cryptocurrency or build a decentralized application. As blockchain technology continues to evolve and gain traction, learning this skill will become increasingly important for those looking to stay ahead of the curve.

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6. Cybersecurity

As our digital world continues to grow, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to rise, making it an excellent high-income skill to learn in 2023. Cybersecurity professionals protect computer systems, networks and data from malicious attacks and unauthorized access using a range of strategies and techniques, such as firewall configuration, encryption and virus protection. They may also develop policies and procedures and train users on safe computing practices. 

In order to become a cybersecurity professional, you must possess a thorough understanding of computer science, computer networks and data security. It's also important to stay up-to-date on new technologies and trends in the security field. Certifications from organizations such as CompTIA, ISC2 and EC-Council are also highly valued in the field. With the right knowledge and certifications, you can enjoy a high-income career in the field of cybersecurity.

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Related: 10 Cybersecurity Analyst Certifications You Can Pursue

7. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is the process of leveraging digital technologies to promote a business or brand. With the rise of social media, the use of digital marketing has grown significantly. Companies are now able to reach a wider audience and engage potential customers with the help of digital marketing tools.

It's important for any business or organization to have a strong digital presence, and digital marketing is a great way to increase visibility. A successful digital marketing strategy can include a combination of different tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and more. It's important to understand the different tools and strategies available to maximize the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

A good understanding of analytics and how to measure the success of your digital marketing efforts is equally important. Being able to recognize the value of each digital marketing channel and adjust the strategy accordingly is an essential skill—by understanding how to use data to make informed decisions, you can increase the reach of your digital efforts and reach more customers.

Overall, digital marketing is  a great way to reach a wider audience and engage potential customers. Understanding the different digital marketing tools and strategies, as well as the use of analytics, can help you maximize the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

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Related: Complete Guide to Digital Marketing

8. Robotics

Robotics is an increasingly important field in the world of technology and programming. As the technology continues to develop, so do the opportunities for those with the skills to work in the robotics sector. The demand for robotics professionals is growing as businesses look to automate processes and reduce costs. 

Robotics engineers design, construct and program robotic systems. They must have a strong understanding of physics, mathematics, electronics and computer programming. They must also have an understanding of the principles of mechanical and electrical engineering. Robotics engineers work with a variety of technologies including sensors, actuators and microcontrollers and must be able to understand the behavior and interactions between components of robotic systems.

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Related: Robotics Engineering: Duties, Salary and Job Outlook 

9. Augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that blends the physical world with the digital world by overlaying virtual objects onto the real world. AR technology has experienced a surge in popularity over the past few years and its use is expected to continue to grow. AR has applications in many different industries such as education, gaming and retail.

In education, AR is being used to enhance the learning experience by providing an interactive and immersive way for students to explore and engage with content. AR can be used to create virtual classrooms, provide interactive lesson plans and even allow students to explore and interact with 3D models of objects.

In gaming, AR is being used to create immersive experiences by overlaying virtual objects on the real world. This technology can be used to create interactive worlds, allowing players to interact with their environment in ways they never could before.

Finally, AR is being used in the retail industry to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions. AR can be used to help customers view products in 3D, providing a more realistic view of the product than a traditional photograph. AR can also be used to provide customers with more detailed information about products, such as reviews from other customers.

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10. Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is expected to become an increasingly important technology. VR has the potential to revolutionize how we interact with our environment, allowing us to experience things as if we were actually there. 

As the technology continues to evolve, it will open up a range of possibilities for businesses and individuals alike. Those with the skills and knowledge to develop and use VR can expect to be in high demand. With the right skills, individuals can position themselves to capitalize on the opportunities that are sure to arise in the future.

For those interested in learning about VR, there are a number of resources available. Tutorials, courses and even full degree programs can provide an excellent foundation for those looking to get into the field. Additionally, many companies are now offering training and certification programs to help develop skills for developing and utilizing VR technology.

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Related: 13 Jobs in the VR Industry (Plus Salaries) | Indeed.com

11. Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing field that is transforming the way we interact with and manage both physical and digital products. IoT refers to a network of connected devices, ranging from consumer products like connected thermostats and lightbulbs to industrial components like sensors and controllers. 

Those with experience in developing and managing IoT systems will be particularly in demand. Skills in coding, data analysis and embedded systems will be needed to design, develop and maintain the networks of connected devices. Companies will also need people to manage the data generated by these interconnected systems and devise ways to use it to create new products and services.

To stay ahead of the competition, it will be essential for professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements. This may involve taking courses in machine learning, AI and automation, as well as attending industry events and conferences.

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Related: 6 IoT Skills and How To Develop Them

12. Programming and coding

With the emergence of new technology and digital platforms, coding and programming have become more important than ever. Companies are looking for applicants with strong coding and programming skills to keep up with the ever-evolving digital world. Programming and coding skills are in high demand because they're necessary to develop websites, software, applications and other digital products.

Fortunately, learning coding and programming is relatively easy, with online courses available to help beginners learn the basics. Bootcamps and coding schools offer a more intensive learning experience.

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Related: Programming vs. Coding: What's the Difference?

13. Design thinking

Design thinking is an approach to problem solving that emphasizes creative, user-centric solutions. It's becoming increasingly popular among business professionals and entrepreneurs as it helps to identify customer needs and develop innovative products. The process typically involves brainstorming, prototyping, testing and refining ideas to create the best possible product or service. 

Design thinking encourages outside-the-box thinking, which can help organizations create unique and effective solutions. By understanding customers' needs and creating solutions to meet those needs, companies can quickly develop products that are in demand and make them more competitive. 

Design thinking also helps ensure products are user-friendly and easily understood, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction. Companies that embrace design thinking can stay ahead of the competition, gain market share and create products that are both profitable and beneficial to customers.

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14. Natural language processing (NLP)

Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of AI that focuses on using computer algorithms to interpret and understand human language. With the rise of chatbots, voice-enabled applications and other technologies that rely on natural language processing, the demand for talented engineers and developers who understand NLP is only growing.

Learning NLP requires a solid understanding of programming, linguistics and machine learning. You'll need to understand how to teach computers to understand grammar, syntax and context, as well as how to develop algorithms for natural language processing. Additionally, you'll know how to implement NLP technologies into applications and services, such as voice-recognition applications and automated customer support systems.

The potential applications of NLP are vast, and with the rise of AI and machine learning, it's expected to become an even more in-demand skill.

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Related: How To Use Natural Language Processing for SEO and Marketing

15. 3D printing

3D printing is a rapidly growing field set to revolutionize the way we produce and consume products. This technology uses a variety of materials, including plastics, metals and ceramics, to quickly create complex and intricate objects. 3D printing is already being used to produce everyday items, such as furniture, medical devices and even shoes.

3D printing is quickly becoming a highly sought-after skill. 3D printers are becoming more affordable and easier to use, and software platforms are being developed to simplify the process.

Those looking to acquire 3D printing skills should expect to spend time learning the basics of the technology, as well as the specific software used for designing and printing. 3D-printing professionals can specialize in a particular area, such as medical devices or fashion design, or become a generalist who can work with a variety of materials and products.

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