Top Skills Americans Want and How Much They’d Pay to Get Them

Top Skills Americans Want and How Much They’d Pay to Get Them

by Lingoda Team

Updated November 8, 2022

Americans would pay $5,700 dollars to learn a new language, more than learning to cook or sticking to a diet

The average American would pay $5,700 to learn a language, about the same as learning to play an instrument, and more than sticking to a diet or a workout scheme. 

Our study of 2,000 Americans found that Americans are willing to shell out the big bucks when it comes to being gifted at basic skills. In fact, the average American would be willing to part ways with $5,226.68 just to be able to be a culinary genius.

For the ability to be a great public speaker, the average American reported to be willing to shell out $6,220.22.

Our study conducted in conjunction with OnePoll looked into the dreams and desires of 2,000 Americans and found that the average American is willing to part ways with $5,694.20 to instantly be able to speak a foreign language.

From being a better listener to schoolwork, being good at something leaves Americans willing to pay major money to not have to learn it from scratch.

But it is not just the basic, everyday skills that people would be willing to spend money on. It turns out that when it comes to superpowers, Americans really drop their checkbooks and splurge.

The results revealed that the most desired superpower is healing/regeneration- with the average American comfortably shelling out $142,702.60 for this special gift.

Other superpowers that would make Americans dip into their savings included time travel ($128,278.90), the ability to turn invisible ($123,072.60), and teleportation ($122,966.65).

Besides having superpowers, Americans do have skills that they would like to learn. The number one skill being the ability to speak another language- with 54 percent admitting to having a desire to learn this particular skill set.

Other skills

Other skills that peaked the interests of those surveyed include memory skills (43 percent), musical skills/ playing an instrument (42 percent), and chef skills / cooking (41 percent).

Thirty-four percent revealed they would want to be really good at tennis while another 29 percent had a desire to have the gift of shooting hoops like Lebron James.

“As society -and younger generations in particular- attach an ever-increasing value to experiences, it makes sense that the top skills are all skills that bring people together. Our language teachers and students live all over the world and these relations don’t stay in our virtual classrooms. In fact, the data shows that 70 percent of people chose to learn a language based on wanting to build relationships with the people who speak it” says Michael Shangkuan, CEO, Lingoda.

It is no wonder that language tops the list of skills that Americans want to learn. On average, Americans will seriously think about learning something new six times a month.

That is an average of 72 times a year. Which means that in a lifetime, the average American will think about learning a new skill 4,320 times.

So what is stopping people from finally learning these skills? For those that have attempted to learn a new skill, the biggest barrier is that the time commitment was too much- with 33 percent revealing this as the reason for giving up on continuing to learn a new skill.

Other excuses included losing interest (25 percent), excessive cost (21 percent), feeling like they were not good enough (20 percent), and not reaching the level they wanted to reach (18 percent).

“Learning a language really is a superpower. Fluency in another language will give your career a boost, help you make new friends, even study and work in another country. No wonder more than half of Americans want to learn a new language,” adds Shangkuan.

Beyond the things that Americans are eager to learn, the study also showed that 64 percent have wanted to live in another country.

In fact, 69 percent revealed that they would likely live in another country one day- with 22 percent thinking about making the big move just in the last week. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers from the study.

Infographic ranking top new skills Americans want to learn and how much money they'd pay to get them

How much people would pay for these super powers:

Healing/regeneration: $142,702.60

Ability to turn invisible: $123,072.60

Manipulating time: $128,278.90

Teleportation: $122,966.65

Reading minds: $118,591.70

Flying: $108,669.11

Super strength: $105,706.27

Moving things around with your mind: $98,354.86

X-ray vision: $92,339.79

How much people would pay to learn these skills:

Be good in bed: $8,192.17

Be less anxious: $6,768.57

Public speaking: $6,220.22

Be patient: $6,126.01

Be athletic: $5,922.25

Play an instrument: $5,695.92

Speak a foreign language: $5,694.20

Drive a car: $5,671.02

Be a good listener: $5,633.18

Eat healthy: $5,581.84

Stick to a workout routine: $5,437.28

Schoolwork: $5,336.71

Cooking: $5,226.68

Top 10 things people would like to learn:

Speaking another language: 54%

Memory skills: 43%

Musical skills/playing an instrument: 42%

Chef skills/cooking: 41%

Artistic/creative skills: 38%

Public speaking: 38%

Patience: 37%

Dancing: 37%

Athletics/fitness: 37%

Listening skills: 32%

Top 5 reasons why people stop learning a new skill:

Time commitment was too much: 33%

Lost interest: 25%

It was costing too much money: 21%

Didn’t feel like I was very good at it: 20%

Reached the level I wanted to reach: 18%



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