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.
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.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 4.25% APR (with Auto Pay) to 8.77% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 8.72% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 3/18/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.
All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.
For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.
The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.
The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.
POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS
After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.
If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of March 4, 2020 and is subject to change.
3 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-9.05% (2.72%-9.05% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.79%-9.30% (3.79%-9.30% APR).
Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of April 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.92%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.
Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer. Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution.
Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
4 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.67% effective February 10, 2020.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 03/26/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 7.89% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.39% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Disclosures
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 4/3/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
|3.50% – 8.72%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.72% – 9.05%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.50% – 8.70%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.76% – 5.84%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 7.89%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.50% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|3.89% – 9.24%7||Undergrad & Graduate|