Course correction

By VANESSA CZARNECKI  |  October 14, 2009

Here, then, the Phoenix has compiled a selective list of nearby courses that will beef up your knowledge and your résumé, or inspire you to take a similar path to more-immediate employment.

Many colleges have yet to release their upcoming course catalogues, and those listed here may be subject to change. So keep an eye out for offerings pertinent to your field of study. And remember: a diploma (or several) may no longer shield you from the effects of a recession, but intelligently pursued continued education will in the end only help. After all, “now is the time to change unemployment from a period of ‘wait and see’ to a chance for our workers to train and seek the next opportunity,” our new president said in a May speech, “so when that new and better day does come around, our people, our industry, and our entire country are ready to make the most of it.”

He should know; he’s got a pretty good job.

CLASS NAME Successful Grant Writing
SCHOOL UMass-Boston
START DATE TBA, Spring 2010
BEST FOR Bleeding hearts
Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations have long been the savior of socially conscious liberal-arts graduates. But like their for-profit brethren, employers in this sector are finding themselves with fewer jobs to doll out, which means you may need to bring more to the table than a love of history or mastery of the English language. The ability to make your employer cash through grants — taught here through proposal-writing development, and defining and promoting an organization’s goals — is a skill they can use.

CLASS NAME Principles of Green Buildings (GES 711)
SCHOOL Online, via Bunker Hill Community College
START DATE January 27
BEST FOR Carbon-footprint bigfoots
Unless you graduated in that last year or so, you likely missed the green-learning curve. Too bad, since today retro-fitting buildings to save on energy costs is all the rage, with even the Empire State Building currently undergoing a $520 million makeover that will reduce its annual operating costs by $4.4 million. Bunker Hill’s online certificate course, in partnership with Gatlin Education Services, is designed to teach building or trade-industry professionals how to make structures perform more efficiently — an up-and-coming niche industry that few have yet mastered.

CLASS NAME Designing and Developing Your Web Page Using HTML
SCHOOL Boston Center for Adult Education
START DATE November 11
BEST FOR Old-media dinosaurs
Word on the street is that magazines and newspapers may not be around much longer, yet journalism schools throughout the country continue to pump out graduates without teaching them the inner-workings of HTML. Finding a job in the media is tough enough; if you don’t know how to work the Web, you won’t find work at all. Countless area courses will get you and your site up and running; BCAE’s offering explains the basics of HTML and Web publishing in just eight two-hour-long courses.

CLASS NAME Introductory Adobe Flash CS4 Professional
SCHOOL Cambridge Center for Adult Education
START DATE November 5
BEST FOR Webbies stuck in the mud
Any kid can — and often does — design their own Web page on MySpace today, complete with shiny computer graphics. So how do aspiring professional Web-page or graphic designers set themselves apart from the crowd? Talent, for one, but also Flash. It’s no longer enough to just build a site; if you want to compete, you better learn how to make your work move. Flash can be a tricky skill to master; CCAE leads groups of 12 through the hoops of developing motion graphics and animation, complete with sound and music.

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