The 4 Work from Home Jobs/Career Paths

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work from home jobs different kinds

A few months back, Upwork (the top online job site) released their list of most in-demand skills for freelance/work from home jobs. This list is very helpful for new or experienced Homers as it tells us what clients are looking for and what we must learn if we are to stay in-demand for jobs.

I wanted to break them down for you here and talk about the different career paths you can take.

Here’s the list from Upwork (in order of demand):

  1. PHP Development
  2. Graphic Design
  3. Data Entry
  4. Content Writing
  5. Internet Research
  6. Javascript Development
  7. Web Design
  8. HTML5 Development
  9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  10. Social Media Marketing
  11. Logo Design
  12. Virtual Assistant
  13. Lead Generation
  14. MySQL Administration
  15. Android App Development
  16. jQuery Development
  17. iOS App Development
  18. Email Marketing
  19. Customer Service
  20. Illustration

Whew! That’s a pretty wide variety of skills. So first of all, let me group them into different categories.


  • PHP Development
  • Javascript Development
  • HTML5 Development
  • MySQL Administration
  • Android App Development
  • jQuery Development
  • iOS App Development


  • Data Entry
  • Content Writing
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Lead Generation
  • Customer Service
  • Internet Research


  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • HTML5 Development
  • Logo Design
  • Illustration

Online Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

So now, we have four main job categories:

  • Software Development
  • Graphic/Web Design
  • Admin/Virtual Assistant
  • Online Marketing

In my opinion (and backed by Upwork’s data), these are the four main types of career paths when it comes to working from home/online jobs/freelancing. There are certainly jobs that require an overlap of skills. But generally, these four are what you should focus on. Let’s look at each of them one at a time

Software Development for Working at Home

This involves programming websites, smartphone apps, and computer programs. I’ll cut to the chase. If you want to do this kind of work, it requires A LOT of study. Programming isn’t something you can decide to learn today and find jobs for it a month from now. The brightest of the brightest can learn programming quickly and get jobs in 6 months. But for most people, it takes at least a year – sometimes more.

If you want to start learning programming, you have to be good at math. If you aren’t good at math, look somewhere else. Seriously. I’ve met so many people who studied IT or Computer Science in college because of the job demand only to have to quit because their strength wasn’t around understanding how numbers and systems work.

If you want to become a programmer

If you’re good math and understanding systems, and are up to the challenge, check out this free website http://codeacademy.com. It’s free and covers the basics of programming. So before you start throwing money at courses and books, I suggest try it out first. Then you can figure out if it’s the right path for you.

Admin/Virtual Assistant (VA) for Working at Home

Out of all the four, the admin category is the most boring (at least for me). On the plus side, it’s the easiest to learn. You don’t have to be good with numbers, you don’t have to be artistic, and you don’t have to learn too many things to start doing admin jobs.

In fact, admin work is what I suggest that most people START OUT in. Maybe I’m biased because it’s where I started, but I firmly believe that it’s the best ‘entry-level job’ working from home. It may be boring work, but you can start relatively quickly and easily. And most of the time, clients will want you to do some tasks in the design and online marketing areas – so you’ll have to learn those anyway.

In fact, that’s what happened to me. I started doing VA/Admin work and then slowly learned online marketing and web design at the same time. That eventually led me to become the online marketer I am now and helped me learn how to make this website.

If you want to be an admin assistant

I have an a free course that covers the overview of virtual assistant work HERE and a complete, detailed premium course on getting your first online job in 30 days HERE. I’m biased by suggesting my own courses. But I think I provide a really good perspective of the job as someone who (still) does it himself.

Web and Graphic Design for Working at Home

These jobs require ‘artists’. I don’t think you can ‘learn’ to be creative – some people just aren’t, no matter how hard they try. But for the artistically inclined, this is a really good area to start. Personally, I have some knack for design (I designed this website and all the graphics you see here), but I wouldn’t be happy doing design work forever – it just isn’t for me.

No matter what area of design you pursue, you’ll most likely need to be proficient in one of the (many) Adobe products. There’s Photoshop (photos), Illustrator (illustrations), and Dreamweaver (websites) to name the core products.

If you want to become a designer

If this interests you, try getting a trial version (from Adobe.com) of one of the products and testing it out. Watch some free YouTube videos on working with the specific product and see if you enjoy the work. Ask your friends and family if they (honestly) think your work is good enough to make money from. If you fall in love with it, I suggest buying a course on the Adobe products you want to focus on.

Online Marketing for Working at Home

This is actually my area of specialty now (after starting in Admin). I always loved marketing (the TV show Mad Men FTW) so this is my perfect fit. Being good at online marketing requires a combination of understanding systems and design.

A lot of what a marketer does is study how Google, Facebook, YouTube, and email systems work and make try to find the best way to use those systems for their client’s business. So that means that you also need a good understanding of how your client’s business works before you can effectively market it.

Most Filipino Online Marketers I know started out as VA’s. They slowly started doing marketing work for their clients, which led them to learn how the marketing systems worked. And if they liked the work, they became online marketers.

If you want to become an online marketer

Online marketing systems are pretty complex and require a lot of study (but not as much as programming). For that reason I suggest you start out in Admin and naturally evolve (like a Pokemon) to online marketing. But if you want to go straight into online marketing, try doing research on these two main areas: Search Engine Optimization, and Facebook Ads. There’s so much information available online that it’s honestly overhwleming. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My suggestion if you’re starting out

If you haven’t decided yet wholeheartedly which route you want to take, then I’d say start with the Virtual Assistant category. There’s a reason it’s what I chose to teach in my introductory courses.

It’s easy to learn (compared to the other areas), easy to do the work, and you don’t need to be technically or artistically inclined to be able to do the work. It’s also extremely versatile as most clients will ask you to do tasks that fall in other areas – giving you a taste of other jobs while making money at the same time.

And once you find a task that you’re good at and enjoy doing, focus on that area and make it your specialty. Here’s my path:

Admin > tested Bookkeeping and didn’t like it > Admin > Web Design > SEO > Analytics and Conversion (currently learning)

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions in our Facebook group.

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Jason Dulay

Jason Dulay

Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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