We’ve all heard those success stories of people who’ve come from a very basic knowledge of tech and transformed it into something great. Take Mark Zuckerberg as one of the most famous examples of a self-made tech mogul – a college kid who started Facebook with his roommates between a few PCs (admittedly, he was studying Computer Science at Harvard). Nowadays, smartphones offer us the best gift of all: an infinite stream of knowledge and skills, just waiting for us to look for how to find them.
Whether you’ve been using tech since you can remember, or are still feeling quite new to it all, there’s always something to discover, and now you don’t have to sign up for an expensive course to learn something new. We’ve come up with some ideas of how you can brush up your tech skills on your morning commute, in bed after a long day, waiting for your kids at the school pick-up, or anywhere – so long as your mobile’s in your pocket!
Read on to discover our top tech skills you can learn on your phone.
These days, everyone is making TikToks, Instagram reels, Youtube shorts or how-to vlogs. Video editing is a valuable tool that can be used for a plethora of reasons. Sure, if you want to be the next hip influencer, it’s an essential know-how, but video editing has many uses beyond upping your Insta-follower count. Video editing can be a creative way to put together clips from your travels, family holidays, or funny skits for your friends’ birthdays. Free online video editing software can allow you to crop, animate and slow-mo to your heart’s content.
It’s also a valuable tool for your business and career. Lots of modern job applications will ask for a short video clip asking you to introduce yourself, or even pose short video templates for you to answer interview-style questions. Being able to cut out the bits either side of you fumbling with the record button creates a much more polished appearance. And for your business, being able to market your product or service with short, snappy media content that showcases the best of what you have to offer will potentially help you reach a larger target audience.
These days, digital marketing can look like a whole host of things. Whether it’s producing content, analysing data, or getting a grasp on SEO knowledge, the internet is your best friend for exposing you to all the information you need, and then helping you figure out what to do with it. If you’re planning to start your own business, or looking to market what you already have but are operating on a tighter budget, finding out how to do it yourself will be an invaluable tool to generate more profit, and save money in the process of doing so.
Find online courses or apps that can teach you the basics of statistical analysis, data visualisation and data extraction. When you know how your data works, as well as what conclusions to take from it, you’ll be much better informed on making smart business decisions to fix the recurring problems you’re finding, or work out which elements could do with some extra attention. Even if you’re a consumer, understanding how digital marketing works may make you less prone to falling for some of those clickbait tricks, or wondering how you were so easily persuaded to buy that thing you really didn’t need.
You’ll also be better able to protect your device from online threats and hacking attempts, which is a pretty useful skill in general. But it could lead you down interesting and emerging career paths too, such as ethical hacking. This is where an organisation grants access for an individual to uncover the weak points and vulnerabilities in their online systems so they can strengthen it against potential malicious attacks in the future. Pretty cool stuff!
Perhaps you’re more interested in the more artistic side of tech. Graphic designers create visual concepts that align with a brand’s values or image, and communicate these in multimedia formats. Image editing, typography, colour theory, and layout design are all skills in the toolbox of a graphic designer.
The best way to pick up these skills is with a mix of tutorials and trial-and-error. Practice on your phone as much as you want, and over time they will naturally develop. Again, having a grasp on graphic design is good for personal and business use, as you can just as easily generate a captivating logo for your company as you can create eye-catching, personalised invitations for your next party.
If you’re really ambitious, you can combine all these skills together to learn how to make an app – from apps. How meta is that? Many popular apps started in bedrooms with tech heads learning all the basics of web development, coding and design, so who says you can’t do the same?
If you have an idea of a niche that needs to be shared with the world, or even just a board game you invented with friends years ago that you want to transform into the digital realm, learning how to construct an app could be a fulfilling experience. It certainly requires more effort than reading the occasional article, but if you’re serious about creating an app, all the materials are accessible from your phone to equip you with the knowledge to do it, or at least make a very good start.
And there you have it, some ideas on how to navigate the magic cauldron of wisdom you have accessible to you in your hands. The internet, and the millions of apps out there today offer an endless possibility of tech skills you can learn, through research and implementation. Now all there’s left to do is pick one, and get going!