Whether you’re considering a career change or want to dabble in a new field without spending the time — or forking over the money — for a pricey graduate program, continuing education courses can broaden your horizons. Here are five places to get back in the classroom and hone valuable skills.
The New School offers semester-long courses both on its campuses and online that deal with everything from management and entrepreneurship to art and design. Students can choose from certificate programs such as “Organization Development,” credit classes and noncredit classes. Courses for Spring 2016 include “The Basics of Investment” ($650, online), “Restaurant Ownership: From Startup to Profitability” ($650, Siteline campus) and “Digital Imaging with Photoshop” ($699, New York City campus).
Cooper Union offers 10-week courses (eight or nine weeks for the summer session) in creative and technical skills. One of Cooper Union’s focuses is Digital Fabrication – using software to design and manufacture something – which Director of Continuing Education David Greenstein says has become essential: “It’s changing the way people do things just as much as the steam engine changed things. It’s going to be a crucial technology for so many different fields.” To increase your skills set, take a class where you learn how to use Arduino ($490) – a versatile microcontroller that is used by engineers and artists alike – or one on digital 3-D modeling ($690).
The City University of New York (CUNY) hosts courses and certificate programs at its numerous campuses. Those looking to break into an in-demand field at a reasonable price might be interested in the Graphic Design and Web Design certificate ($6,300 total for 17 courses) or the Business Communication certificate ($3,400 total for 10 courses). Those who prefer a standalone class have options such as “Adobe CS6 Beginner: Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign” ($150, 11 sessions) or “Accounting Fundamentals” ($275, 12 sessions).
Located in NYC and designed for retired adults, QUEST offers fall, spring and summer sessions filled with courses on government, literature, technology and more. A $500 annual membership allows students to take as many QUEST courses as they’d like. Members can brush up on their Shakespeare, learn about the Supreme Court or take a class on “Economics and Society.”
Check out “Public Speaking: A Crash Course” ($140, four sessions), “Does the Federal Reserve Make Foreign Policy?” ($30, one session), “Taking Your First steps in Career Transition” ($30, one session) and more at 92Y, where there are courses to satisfy everyone from the soon-to-be parent to the burgeoning artist. Director of Adult Programs Christine Chen says in an email that the 92Y is “a place where people can pursue their passions in a huge range of areas, from history to jewelry making to public speaking, whether they are learning something new or achieving mastery of something that they already love.”