8 Best Continuing Education Programs to Transform Your Career

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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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
Check Out General Assembly

2. Springboard

  • 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
Check Out Springboard

3. Udemy

  • 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
Check Out Udemy

4. Thinkful

  • 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
Check Out Thinkful

5. Bloc

  • 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)
Check Out Bloc

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
  • Online certificate programs in HTML, CSS, Ruby, and JavaScript range from $590 to $1,000
  • 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
Check Out Flatiron School

7. RefactorU

  • 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
Check Out RefactorU

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
Check Out We Can Code IT

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?

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Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. 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.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, 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 August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. 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 with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, 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 and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. 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 at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, 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.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.