8 Best Continuing Education Programs to Transform Your Career
Are you ready to advance your career — or start a new one entirely? Thanks to some of today’s continuing education programs, it’s never been easier to acquire marketable skills.
Many programs offer intensive professional training and connect you to a network of employers. Others simply allow you to learn about a subject you’re interested in.
And because many adult education classes are online, you can complete them wherever and whenever is convenient for you.
What to look for in continuing education programs
Before spending your time and money, make sure a program is worth the investment. Learn what makes some continuing education programs stand out over others.
If you’re looking to improve your “hireability,” a program should provide high-quality training. It should offer a curriculum that meets industry standards and teaches marketable skills.
The syllabus should outline clear objectives and show how you’ll achieve them. Plus, some of the best programs provide a hiring guarantee to graduates.
Springboard, for instance, offers full tuition reimbursement if you’re not hired within the first six months of graduating. General Assembly has a 99 percent employment success rate within 180 days.
Before signing up for adult education classes, check out student outcomes and reviews. Take a look at a course’s pricing structure and location, as well. Some programs offer scholarships or refer you to low-interest personal loans.
Many continuing education classes are online, but a few academies have on-campus locations. Before committing to a program, consider your learning style, career goals, and schedule. Make sure you understand exactly how much work and time you’ll need to put in to meet your goals — and maybe even find a better job.
Top 8 continuing education programs
1. General Assembly
Innovative training courses in a variety of fields, including coding, user experience, design, data, marketing, business, and career development
Intensive bootcamp courses focused on digital and technology skills
Both online and in-person courses at 25 campuses worldwide
Part-time and full-time class offerings fit with your schedule
Courses are open to beginners with no previous experience in a field
Prices range from $1,250 for part-time courses up to $13,950 for a full-time, immersive course
Partners with lenders like Pave and Climb Credit to help you pay tuition
88 percent of graduates got full-time jobs within 3 months of graduation; after 180 days, 99 percent of graduates found full-time work in their field of study
Intensive training courses in data science, data analytics for business, and UX design
Expert professionals help develop curated curriculum for each course
Courses are entirely online
Weekly video calls with a mentor who works in the field
Data science course has the guarantee that you’ll get hired within 6 months of graduating or you’ll get 100 percent of your tuition refunded
Self-paced workshops start at $399 per month
Data Analytics for Business workshop costs $1,499 for 12 weeks
Data Science Career Track program takes five to 6 months and costs $4,800
No financial aid opportunities
Over 45,000 online courses from expert instructors
Courses are available in more than 80 different languages
You can learn marketable skills like coding, web design, and Adobe Photoshop
You can take classes in areas of personal interest, such as Greek literature, pet care, or makeup
Offers some free courses
Most Udemy courses range from $20 to $200
Some skills-based courses promise that you will learn the skills to become a paid professional, but they don’t help with the job hunt or track graduate career outcomes
You’ll get a Udemy Certificate of Completion (but this is not recognized in the professional world since Udemy isn’t an accredited institution)
Anyone can create a course and become a Udemy instructor as long as they follow course guidelines
Online coding bootcamp with one-on-one mentorship from a professional developer
Bootcamp courses in web development and data science, as well as shorter term workshops in frontend web development, backend web development, mobile development, and user experience design
Guarantee that you’ll get a job within 6 months or be granted a full tuition refund
Full-time web development courses take 4 months and cost $14,000
Flexible web development and data science courses last for 6 months and cost $8,550
Short term workshops range from $300 to $500 per month
93 percent job placement rate within 6 months of graduating web development bootcamp
Job-seeking graduates report an average salary increase of $20,975
Flexible payment plans and $100 to $300 scholarships (monthly) for self-identifying women and U.S. military members
Programs help you become a software developer, web developer, or web designer
Skills-based workshops teach you the fundamentals of Rails, frontend development, UX and UI design, and development for Android and iOS
Mentors have an average of 9 years experience in their industry
Part-time and full-time programs fit with your schedule
Tuition ranges from $5,000 to $19,500, depending on the program
Financing plans available with repayment periods from 0 to 5 years
Partners with Skills Fund to bring you low-interest loans
Various tuition reimbursement guarantees if you don’t get a job within a certain period after graduating (must meet certain accountability standards to qualify)
6. Flatiron School
Web development bootcamps online or in-person in New York City
12-week full-time web and iOS development programs cost $15,000
Self-paced online learning for about $1,500 a month
Free intro courses will teach you the basics of coding
98.5 percent of Flatiron students are employed within 180 days of graduation
Career services and one-on-one meetings with career coach helps you prepare for job interviews and land a job
Partners with Pave and Skills Fund to offer low-interest loans
$2,000 scholarships for students who belong to underrepresented groups in tech, including women and veterans
10- to 12-week web development, data science, and UX design bootcamps
94 percent of graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation
Main courses take place at RefactorU’s affiliate campuses in Westminster, Colorado or Dallas, Texas
A few courses are also available online
Tuition costs vary by program, education affiliate, and location
Partners with various lending organizations to offer financing
Offers three diversity scholarships per cohort (27 per year) to those who identify as a woman or member of a group underrepresented in tech (grand prize: $4,000; runner-up prizes: $1,300)
Accepts GI Bill benefits for veterans
8. We Can Code IT
Part-time and full-time coding bootcamp programs
Full programs cost $12,000
Campuses in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio
Small group tutoring and one-on-one mentoring
Career services to help you prep for interviews and find a job
Partners with Skills Fund and Climb Credit to offer low-interest loans
Can pay up front or in four installments
$1,000 to $2,000 grants for women and minorities in tech or those who make less than $47,500 a year
Are continuing education classes right for you?
Many of these adult education classes are focused on the skills you need for a career in tech. These web development bootcamps teach you coding, design, or data science.
None of these schools are accredited institutions, but most provide career services and coaching. Some are so confident you’ll get hired, they promise a money-back guarantee.
Most of these continuing education academies have at least one program open to beginners, so you always have a place to start. They offer flexible scheduling and financing options to meet your needs.
Once you’ve identified your goals and figured out your finances, you can choose the academy that’s right for you. For the full list of our favorite continuing education programs, head to the Student Loan Hero marketplace.