skillsThe essential skills everyone needs to have and be improving on.

No matter what profession you find yourself in, or if you are a student, learning should never end. Ironically, we tend to do the bare minimum of improving our skills, even though we have an endless supply of online resources at our disposal.

Well that should end today. Below are 4 skills that we should all be working on that will prepare us for greater success in our careers. Alongside these skills are accessible resources that you can use to get started.

4. Coding

Learning HTML, JavaScript, CSS and so on is probably the most important skill to learn on this list, since most of us do not already have a basic understanding of it. The reality is that web development is a skill that is in high demand, due to our economy becomes more digital. In the next few decades, the workforce will increasingly become filled with young professionals who will be incredibly talented with coding, so you definitely don’t want to fall behind.

The good news is that there are easy and free ways to learn the basics online. is my personal favorite, since it provides tutorials and accessible feedback for everything you learn. It is especially useful if you have no background in web development, whatsoever.

3. Public Speaking

Though some of you may think that public speaking is something you’ll never be required to do, the reality is that this is a skill that stretches beyond amphitheater presentations. Public speaking is a skill that derives from your confidence and inherent ability to articulate concepts accurately and efficiently, which is necessary for everyone. Whether you’re attempting to persuade your boss, addressing a classroom or speaking at a boardroom meeting, public speaking is crucial for professional success.

The University of Notre Dame has a list of  list of useful resources that will help you to start improving these skills, no matter where you currently rank. Some of these tips are also tailored towards those of you who may be introverted, and they address multiple ways for you to overcome tough conditions, such as anxiety.

2. Design

We can’t all be experts at art and graphic design, but we can develop an eye for it. Knowing what looks good and what doesn’t is a great skill to have, especially if you are a publisher or business owner. As someone who struggled with graphic design skills through school, I found the first step to be practice. The more we work and create designs, the better we gradually become at it.

Lifehacker provides a fantastic overview of some key design concepts and rules, ranging from typefaces to layout. This is a very valuable resource, no matter how much design experience you have or don’t have.

1. Grammar and Vocabulary

Journalists and bloggers will be the first to tell you that grammar and vocabulary rules change regularly, so improving your writing skills should be ongoing. Very few of us get away with not having to write for our careers, but the truth is that we use the written word for general activities, such as emails, proposals, contracts and more. That said, having the correct grammar and a good vocabulary goes a long way in achieving credibility.

The best resource for improving your writing is to read (a lot), but there are other unique resources you can use. Flashstash is a way for you to use flashcards for vocabulary and concept lists. Also, Thinkmap caters to those of you who are image-oriented by providing a visual thesaurus for whatever you enter.

If you believe there is another crucial skill that we should always be improving, let us know in the comments below.