What online courses are in demand?

July 20, 2021
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With an ever-increasing demand for content, the online course market is one of the most profitable fields today. Now is a great time to share your expertise with others while also making a living. If you’re just starting out, you might be wondering what online courses are in demand.

The most popular courses to take online are in the fields of technology, programming, marketing, and business. These courses give students the skills and knowledge needed to advance their careers or change to a different career path altogether. Other courses—such as languages, arts, science, math, health, fitness, and personal development—are also highly sought after.

If you are thinking about turning your passion or skill into an online course, then consider teaching these popular topics! Keep in mind that there are niches in each category. Assess your skills and find out where you can leverage your expertise.

What online courses are in demand?

There is a class for nearly every field of interest, but the most popular online courses offer something beyond knowledge. 

An online course may provide its students a solid foundation for a new career path, or it may give them an edge at work so they can win that promotion. It can also fulfill a personal goal, like playing the piano or learning a new language. 

Whatever the topic, the most important thing you can deliver in an online course is value.


Man Holding Computer in Technology Hallway with Processors

Fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are growing exponentially, so online courses in technology are in demand. 

There are also online tech classes that lay foundational skills to enter IT or web development jobs. More advanced classes can be taught to those who already work in technology but need to keep up to date with the latest advancements.

Examples of Popular Technology Online Courses

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Informational Technology

Learn more about teaching online tech courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Jason Dion from diontraining.com teaches IT, cybersecurity, and courses on technology. Check out our interview with him here.

We also talked to Frank Kane from Sundog Education who discusses how he grew a major following in the technological space for online courses.


Man Sitting at Desk with Three Computers Programming Code

In today’s world, learning a coding language is just as important as learning spoken languages like Spanish or Mandarin.

There’s an ever-growing need for programmers and developers. The most popular programming courses are those that teach Python or JavaScript, but classes for application and web development also fill up quickly. 

Programming is one of the most sought-after fields because much of our lives now depend on information technology. If you are a programmer and have the ability to teach others, an easy way to get started is by putting together an introductory course for beginners.

Examples of Popular Programming Online Courses

  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • CSS
  • React
  • PHP

Learn more about teaching online programming courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

We talked to Kim Dang, who shared how she was able to build a successful software company with Chrome extensions.


Business Woman with Glasses and Suit Holding a Tablet

In recent years, there’s been a massive shift in the way people work. Many people have left their 9-to-5 jobs to start their own businesses and work for themselves.

Some have little to no formal training in business, so online courses are popular among them. They don’t cost as much as traditional schooling, and the online format allows for flexibility for busy entrepreneurs.

As a teacher, you can help students learn how to effectively run a business, develop leadership skills, and gain the confidence they need to start a business of their own. 

Examples of Popular Business Online Courses

  • Home Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Freelancing
  • Leadership

Learn more about teaching online business courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

The Six Minute Strategist himself, John Colley, talks about branding and business strategies for long-term growth. 

In a different episode, Billy Wigley talks about why it’s important to always have your audience in mind when creating content, and the reasons why having a coach can propel you much further along in your online business.


Digital Marketing with Laptop on a Desk

Marketing is an important part of a business strategy. It’s particularly essential for those who want to grow their own business or work with a company that deals heavily in marketing-related fields.

These courses are geared towards understanding consumers—how each type of advertisement affects them and what techniques can be used to reach your target audience. 

There’s also a growing interest in social media marketing. Companies big and small are interested in platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where there’s always an engaged audience.

Examples of Popular Marketing Online Courses

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Advertising

Learn more about teaching online marketing courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Linda Reed-Enever shares a simple strategy to create a ton of content to use for months or even years down the road.


Woman Laughing with Others While Drinking Wine

Whether for professional development or to fulfill a personal goal, there are always students wanting to learn a new language.

As globalization has become a larger part of our lives, employers are giving preference to job seekers who are fluent in languages other than English. 

These courses are also popular for those who love to travel to different countries and speak their native language.

Examples of Popular Language Online Courses

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Mandarin

Learn more about teaching online language courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Listen to Ilyssa Wexler’s story on how she has pivoted her language learning business into the online world.

Arts & Crafts

Woman in Overalls Painting on Canvas in Art Room

Have you ever considered using your skills and talents as a craftsman or artist to teach others? If you have, there's no better time than the present!

Arts and crafts can be an enriching hobby or a lucrative business. Whether it's learning how to weave fabric, crochet, or paint, there are plenty of skills that people can learn from these types of courses—even if they're just for fun! 

The best part is that you don't need to be a certified expert to teach—all you need is a bit of experience and knowledge. Prepare projects so your students can follow along and practice skills.

Examples of Popular Arts & Crafts Online Courses

  • Knitting & Sewing
  • Watercolor
  • Calligraphy
  • Drawing
  • Painting

Learn more about teaching online arts and crafts courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Professional designer Nicki Traikos uses Pinterest and other social media platforms to sell courses on art, calligraphy, and watercolor.


Two Men Creating a Logo Design on the Computer

Design is an integral part of business and marketing strategies. People need someone who can whip together a fancy-looking website or a stylish logo

You can teach design skills for others looking to hone their craft, secure a new job or freelance in their spare time.

As more people move online and start their own businesses, they look for someone with knowledge and experience to help them develop their brands

Examples of Popular Design Online Courses

  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Digital Painting
  • Character Design
  • Logo Design

Learn more about teaching online design courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Daniel Walter Scott from Bring Your Own Laptop shares how he has generated multiple income streams with online courses.

Music & Audio

Man Playing Red Bass Guitar in Recording Studio

We can’t get enough of music; we listen to it as background noise at work, in the car on our commute home, or when we want to wind down before bedtime.

Whether it's for piano, singing, or basic music theory, music instructors are in demand. 

You can create a course with pre-recorded videos and exercises, or you can teach students one-on-one via Skype or Zoom. You’ll no longer be limited by your location—you can find eager students all over the world.

Examples of Popular Music Online Courses

  • Piano
  • Singing
  • Guitar
  • Music Production
  • Music Theory

Learn more about teaching online music courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Jacques Hopkins from Piano in 21 Days discusses the strategies he used to create a $2 million online course business teaching others how to play the piano.

Jonny Armandary shares how he has taken his passion for scoring music for films and turned it into an online course business.

Photography & Videography

Man Holding a Camera with a Lens Taking Photos

With smartphones catching up to the quality of point-and-shoot cameras, photography and videography are growing more popular. 

If you’ve got photography skills, you can teach courses from basic foundations to more niche topics like landscapes and portraits.

And you don’t have to stop there—there are tons of photo editing applications that people want to use. Help students gain Photoshop skills so they can submit their work to professional outlets—or simply make their profile photos pop.

Examples of Popular Photography & Video Online Courses

  • Video Production
  • Digital Photography
  • Mobile Photography
  • Wedding Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Adobe Photoshop

Learn more about teaching online photography and videography courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Emmy Award nominee Tracy Phillips from Video Script Success teaches us how we can build confidence on camera for our own online courses.

Frankie Jago shares how she went from journalism and videography to creating an online course business.


Scientist in Lab Coat Looking through a Microscope

Online science courses are popular because they offer quality education for people who live in remote areas or don’t have the means to attend traditional classes in person. 

They also give students interested in multiple disciplines an opportunity to study different fields without needing to switch schools and pay hefty tuition. 

If you have training or experience in the sciences, you might find teaching online courses to be rewarding. You can cater to professionals who need to stay updated in their field or students who need to establish a good foundation.

Examples of Popular Science Online Courses

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Astronomy
  • Anatomy


Woman with Headphones Watching Mathematics Teacher on Laptop

Math is an evolving field, so schools and parents alike turn to distance learning options like massive open online courses (MOOC) or learning management system (LMS) platforms. And there are plenty of reasons why people want these classes: they're convenient, flexible, affordable, and good preparation for college-level work.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in math to teach these courses. Knowledge and experience are necessary, but the depth of your knowledge depends on the type of math you want to teach. 

Grad students may want to teach college-level courses. But even high school graduates who did well on advanced placement courses can teach high school math or lower levels.

Examples of Popular Math Online Courses

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Probability

Learn more about teaching online math courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Yazan Tadros shares his journey from teaching mathematics in a classroom into transitioning to a digital space.


Man Cutting Vegetables with Knife for a Healthy Meal

If you’re a nutritionist, counselor, or any other expert in the health field, online courses provide a space for you to widen your practice

People desire to know more about their health but don’t want to waste their time wading through the internet for reliable sources

Take your background and experience online and find more people to help outside of your network.

Examples of Popular Health Online Courses

  • Nutrition
  • Dieting
  • Mental Health
  • Weight Loss
  • Aromatherapy


Woman Doing Yoga on Matt in Living Room with Workout Equipment

People are now opting for fitness classes online. It’s convenient, giving people the opportunity to prioritize their health without sacrificing too much time. They’re also a lot more affordable than a gym membership, which can cost over a hundred dollars a month per family. 

With online fitness courses, people can get an expert's advice and learn about various workout routines that they can customize to their needs.

Fitness courses are also popular among beginners because they break down moves step by step and teach the basics of how to use different types of equipment to avoid injury. Teaching fitness courses online can help you grow a following for your gym or personal training services.

Examples of Popular Fitness Online Courses

  • Home Workouts
  • Yoga
  • Weightlifting
  • Muscle Building
  • Pilates

Learn more about teaching online fitness courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

In this interview, Lionel Lim talks about the strategies he used to create a high-ticket fitness training program.

Jono Petrohilos tells us how he was able to bootstrap his online business for fitness boot camps.


Man Mountain Biking on Top of a Mountain

Whether it's golf, surfing, or mountain biking, online courses for sports make it easy for people who want to learn the basics.

Not every town or city offers classes for specialized sports. Online courses break down the barriers of location, time, and cost. You can teach from the comfort of your home without having to worry about renting space or recruiting local students.

Examples of Popular Sports Online Courses

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Martial Arts
  • Running

Personal Development

Married Couple Holding Hands While Walking Down the Road

Personal development courses provide practical tools for changing behaviors, thought patterns, and emotions. Nowadays, people value self-care more than ever, so you’ll find students from all walks of life.

The lessons can be taken at one's own pace, which is useful for those with busy schedules. Begin your personal development course with an assessment of your student’s needs; this helps both of you determine what to focus on and how to stay on track.

Examples of Popular Personal Development Online Courses

  • Productivity
  • Happiness
  • Life Coaching
  • Confidence
  • Relationships

Learn more about teaching online personal development courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Natalie and Joeel Rivera share how they have built a lifestyle business by providing transformation for others.

Anastasia Lapik discusses why you should look at the scientific, psychological, and spiritual aspects when building your program.


Man with Beard Holding Dog in the Park

People are always striving for self-improvement, so lifestyle courses have become immensely popular.  

For those who have experience cooking or baking, this is a great way to share your best tips. Niche topics are particularly desired; if you know how to make regional cuisines like sushi or curry, you should consider teaching a series or offering one-on-one instruction. 

The same goes for other life skills. From lawn care to makeup and everything in between, there’s a variety of topics that you can cover.

Examples of Popular Lifestyle Online Courses

  • Beauty & Makeup
  • Traveling
  • Food & Beverage
  • Home Improvement
  • Pet Care

Learn more about teaching online lifestyle courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

Clare Maxfield tells her journey from the early days of the internet to build a thriving training program for image consultants.


Tattoo Artist Tattooing a Person in the Studio

With the internet, it has become easier for individuals to take up hobbies that they would not otherwise be able to pursue due to their location or circumstances. 

You can find courses on just about anything: sharpening your video game skills, picking up gardening tips from experts, and learning how to tattoo!

Teaching a hobby course online lets you reach an audience you may not have found otherwise.

Examples of Popular Hobby Online Courses

  • Tattooing
  • Woodworking
  • Gardening
  • Collecting
  • Gaming

Learn more about teaching online hobby courses on the Online Course Igniter podcast, where I interview people who have found success in this field:

David Young shares how he built a $1.6 million dollar course business in the drone industry.

Why should you teach popular online courses?

You already have the skills and knowledge—so why not share those with others? Not only will you feel good about helping someone excel in your field, but you’ll also generate another income stream.

These are just a handful of the most popular online course topics, but hopefully, this list sparks some ideas on what you can create. The demand for online education continues to climb, so you can teach a course on just about any subject you want.

What would you like to teach?

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