School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning and honing your skills. In fact, the summer is a great time to explore professional development opportunities that don’t break the bank while connecting with people who share your interests. Here are just a few options from organizations that offer low-cost professional development classes in New York City:
3rd Ward is a membership-based organization in East Williamburg/Bushwick, Brooklyn offering co-working space, classes and cultural events. Classes range from the creative, such as using a digital camera and silkscreening, to those that are especially practical for developing nonprofit professionals, such as digital marketing, bookkeeping basics, and crafting a business plan. Classes tend to be around $50 and up, depending on materials, but members receive a discount.
Brooklyn Brainery offers crowd-sourced, affordable classes on “just about everything.” You can offer to lead a session or suggest a class if there’s something particular that you want to learn. Class subjects range from “budgeting for the young, broke and awesome,” to “manage your gmail inbox,” to “get awesome at cursive.” Prices for classes tend to range from $7 to $75, depending on materials and length of the course.
Similar to Brooklyn Brainery, but on a larger, national scale is Skillshare. You can search classes by location and offer to lead sections. Recent classes cover topics from crafting mission and vision statements, running a successful Kickstarter campaign, to sustainable design. In general, prices for classes range from $15 to $30.
The Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library also offer a wide variety of classes and events to help you hone your professional skills, as well as fun classes such as yoga, zumba and language conversation groups. The Business and Career library in Brooklyn Heights offers one-on-one résumé writing, business counseling and personal financial planning help.
When researching classes ask for references from past students if you are unsure about the teacher or organization. Overall, learning something new can refresh your perspective and enable you to bring new ideas to your current position or explore a new professional direction. So well others are hitting the beach this summer, maybe you will hit the books and if you do, let us know what you are learning.
Eleanor Whitney is a writer, musician and arts administrator and project manager making it happen in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently the Program Officer for External Affairs and Fiscal Sponsorship at the New York Foundation for the Arts and received her Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College. Read all of Eleanor’s posts for YNPN-NYC.