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 6 lenders of 2018!
|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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent 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
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 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.
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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 6.97%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 8.44%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.05% – 6.47%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.24%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|