Professional training: Courses to boost your career

Considering professional training to move your career to the next level? We’ve paired five skill-enhancing study options with popular professions.

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Illustration: Ana Benaroya


In a competitive job market, it pays to have an edge. Whether you’re a graphic designer or run your own business, these New York courses will give you the professional training you need to take your career to the next level. Find more ways to boost your skill set with our selection of great adult classes, including art classes, computer classes and language classes. If you want to train in something new, consider growth industries like big data or health care.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of adult classes in NYC

Profession: Chef
Course: One Day Restaurant School

If you’ve logged thousands of hours as a chef, working your way up with steadfast determination, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about opening your own place. Before you do, register for the Institute of Culinary Education’s new One Day Restaurant School (Oct 15 9am–5pm; $395), led by a panel of seven culinary business gurus. “It’s not that people don’t ask questions; they often simply don’t know which questions to ask and in which order,” says instructor Julia Heyer, managing director of a consulting firm specializing in hospitality-industry concept development. The class covers the fundamentals of restaurant management, enabling you to maximize profit margins and grow your business. Participants will learn about preparing during the preopening phase, from understanding the market and choosing the right location to securing a good lease, thoroughly researching the competition and coming up with a winning concept. They’ll also get schooled in vital operational details, such as how to control portions, cut recipe costs and best use the unique talents of employees. The team of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs will share cautionary tales about the premature endings of many a dream: start-up costs destroying budgets, for example, or poorly thought-out restaurant concepts.

An ideal complement to this boot camp is ICE’s “Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs,” a series of $40 lectures by well-known food-scene figures. The fall lineup includes Harold Dieterle, chef and co-owner of the West Village’s Perilla, Kin Shop and the Marrow (Sept 26 10–11:30am); Sara Jenkins, the chef and owner of Porchetta, Porsena and Porsena Extra Bar, all in the East Village (Oct 3 10–11:30am); and the legendary Drew Nieporent (Nov 21 1–2:30pm), owner of the Myriad Restaurant Group, which runs Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Nobu Next Door and Nobu 57, among others. Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W 23rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (800-522-4610, recreational.ice.edu)

Profession: Graphic designer
Course: Web Design Certificate

If you’re a graphic designer who works in publishing or is just starting out, there’s a good chance you’re asked the same question over and over: Do you do Web design? Given the enormous demand by businesses small and large for a distinctive Web presence, expanding your repertoire to include that skill set is bound to pay off. Hunter’s ten-course Web Design Certificate ($3,600; open house Sept 3; classes begin in September; see website for specifics) offers a comprehensive overview taught by a team of digital design and tech specialists. Kicking off your studies is a quartet of courses that can be taken simultaneously: HTML, Adobe Illustrator 1, Adobe Photoshop 1 and a class that should be a breeze for you, “Visual Design for Everyone.”

The next module introduces you to the field’s two main website-building software programs, Adobe’s Dreamweaver and Flash, and Cascading Style Sheets, a primer on the organizational templates behind website workability. Wrapping things up is the trio Advance Adobe Flash, Advance Adobe Dreamweaver and the Business of Graphic Design, which together bring your skills to workplace-ready level. You might as well be your own first client, creating a site that shows the world just how good you are as a Web designer. Hunter College, 695 Park Ave at 68th St (212-650-3850, hunter.cuny.edu/ce)

Profession: Health-care professional
Course: Bioethics Certificate

Whether your specialty is public education, epidemiology, research or environmental health, Columbia University’s Bioethics Certificate (ce.columbia.edu; courses begin Sept 3; three-credit class $4,974, noncredit $1,658; one-year, four-course certificate program $19,896; rolling registration on a space-available basis through August; noncredit course registration through Aug 25) can equip you with a solid foundation in ethical dilemmas arising from 21st-century advances in medicine and biotechnology, from right-to-die decision making to genetically modified reproduction. The four-course, online-only certificate program draws on such wide-ranging fields as medicine, law, economics, education, sociology, philosophy and public policy, and is taught via a combination of live webinars, multimedia presentations and collaborative workshops.

The intro course, “Foundations of Bioethics” (begins Sept 3), introduces students to the main theories, concepts and seminal events in the field, among them patient rights, the responsibilities of researchers and physicians, controversies pertaining to the beginning of life, and the ethics of genetic modification and enhancement. After examining the evolution of clinical ethics and how it affects hospital care and doctor-patient relationships, the “Clinical Ethics” class (begins spring 2014) focuses on issues faced in medical practice, from informed consent and medical futility to pediatric ethics, organ transplantation and end-of-life decision making. During the semester, students attend a meeting of the adult or pediatric committee at NewYork-Presbyterian or Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, respectively, allowing them to examine firsthand the ethical questions real-life professionals face in the clinic. “Research Ethics” (begins Sept 5) considers the complex issues surrounding research studies, from informed consent and how to protect human subjects and their privacy to the rights and responsibilities of scientists, study participants and even governments. Lastly, in “Global Bioethics” (begins spring 2014), students learn about diverse bioethical policies and practices around the world, putting each situation into its specific social, cultural and political context. The course takes on such topics as reproductive tourism—traveling to another country for in vitro fertilization or donor insemination—and pharmaceutical testing protocols as they’re practiced in developing versus industrialized countries.

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