Go back to school with these 17 classes in Los Angeles

Bust out the No. 2 pencils and spiral-bound notebooks: It’s time to go back to school.

Annalise Mantz

No, we’re not talking about Algebra I or AP U.S. History, but all the fantastic classes for adults in Los Angeles this fall. Just because you’re not lining up for homeroom anymore doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Picking up a new skill is easy with one of these affordable, introductory classes covering everything from floral design to foreign languages. Turns out learning really can be fun—who knew!

Best back to school classes in L.A.

Any class at Los Angeles City College

Los Angeles City College is a publicly funded educational institution that offers a diverse range of courses for adults looking to take part-time courses that can help them become healthier, earn more money or develop new hobbies and talents. Whether you want to learn a recreational sport like tennis, get certified as an accountant or apartment manager or learn a new tech skill like QuickBooks, Los Angeles City College is likely to have a class designed to suit your needs. You can become certified in professional skills, learn to cook and sew (in order to save money around the house) or enroll in an acting class to meet new people. These courses are accessible and built with working adults in mind, so you’ll be sure to find something to meet your needs at LACC.

Tech and professional skills classes at Training Connection

Training Connection is an LA-based tech and professional training firm that offers short career development courses and career-focused bootcamps. They offer beginner-friendly introduction courses in a range of subjects, including skills like Photoshop, QuickBooks or Python programming and they offer more advanced courses for students who know that they want to pursue these skills at a professional level. You can also enroll in courses focused on soft-skill development, like business writing, public speaking or management strategies. It pays to develop your professional skills and, no matter what skills you are aiming to develop, there is a course for you at Training Connection.


Any class at Santa Monica College

Located in Santa Monica, Santa Monica College is a public learning institution that offers a wide variety of practical, professional and hobby classes for students of all ages. They offer one-day and multi-part courses in subjects ranging from sewing and painting to professional development, public speaking and acting. These classes can help you develop your artistic skills, earn more money on the side or even kickstart a new career. They also offer professional certification courses for anyone looking to receive the accreditation they need to work in specific fields like notaries or accountants.

The Essence of Film Acting at McCadden Place Theatre

If you feel that acting is a field you’d like to pursue, it is important to get practical training and learn the techniques on-camera actors need to master. In this course, you’ll work with Joy Rinaldi, "The Audition Doctor" an experienced professional with numerous TV/Film/Broadway credits to her name, as you practice building a screen presence and working in live acting roles. All of the course content is filmed and given to students so they can study their own technique and roles outside of the course and witness themselves develop as actors as they get more and more practice.


Creative Writing Workshop at The Writing Workshop

Dreaming of writing the next Great American Novel? Practice your prose in one of the all-day intensives at the Writing Workshop. Students will spend three hours writing fiction or memoir and the rest of the time reading and critiquing one another’s work. There’s nothing more valuable than real-life feedback.

Four-week Culinary Basics Series at Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom

Home cooking is one of the most valuable skills that you can learn. Not only will it help you live a healthier life and make you better at hosting others, it can also just save you a lot of money over time (since you’ll be eating out less often). In this class, you’ll spend four weeks learning everything you need to know to become a proficient home chef. You’ll learn knife skills (including how to cut meat and vegetables) and you’ll get advice on how to prepare before cooking in order to make the process painless. Then, you’ll get hands-on experience working on a wide range of pasta, vegetable, meat, fish and shellfish recipes that you can start adding to your regular rotation to help make delicious, nutritious meals at home.


Data Science Certificate

In the modern business landscape, it is more important than ever to have a firm understanding of data science and how it can be used to inform business and financial decisions. In this immersive, career-focused program, you’ll learn how to code in Python and build the systems and databases you need to make informed decisions about the data you collect. Students will learn how to query databases, build complex database architecture and translate their data into graphs, charts and other visualizations that can help others see what you see in the data. This career-focused course will help you get hands-on data science experience and you’ll be able to construct a portfolio of work that you can take with you onto the job market.

Graphic Design Certificate

If you are more interested in learning how your creative skills can translate to a career, consider this live online graphic design certificate program offered through Noble Desktop. In this class, you’ll get live instruction from a skilled instructor on the ins and outs of industry-standard design tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. You’ll also get hands-on training in artistic and graphic design fundamentals like composition and design theory. These practical exercises will help you become career-ready as soon as you graduate from the program and you can include them as part of your professional portfolio. You’ll also get one-on-one career mentorship training and individualized tutoring sessions to ensure that you leave the program ready to start a new career.


Ceramics: Clay Sculpting at Los Angeles City College

Learning pottery can be a fun way to spend an evening and it can be another way to save money in the long-term by handcrafting your own plates, dishes and other dinnerware. In this introductory clay sculpting class, you can start to learn the art of hand and wheel clay molding techniques and you’ll get hands-on experience creating pieces of your own. In addition to the clay, the studio has their own kiln and once you are done, your piece will be glazed and fired (for you to pick up later), at which point you can start to add decorative touches for display or start using the piece for practical purposes.

Effective Business Writing at NYC Career Centers

No matter what line of work you are in, it is likely that at one point or another, you’ll need to know how to write and communicate effectively. Whether you are drafting an interdepartmental memo, writing a proposal for a new project or emailing prospective clients, you’ll want to make sure that your writing sounds good and clearly communicates your goals. In this business writing class, you’ll learn the technical skills you need to start writing competently and you’ll study the basics of rhetoric to help make your writing more informative and persuasive. This course is a great way to help improve your soft skills and can be useful regardless of where you work or what you do.


Effective Presentations at Training Connection

Public speaking can be hard. Not only do you need to deal with the intimidating aspects of it, but you also need to accomplish a goal (usually persuasive) while managing your stress. In this course, you’ll learn the secrets to preparing and delivering effective presentations that communicate your point, account for your audience and are rhetorically appealing. You’ll learn techniques for setting goals and analyzing your audience in advance of the presentation and you’ll learn how to communicate effectively, utilize visuals and handle the Q&A. Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to nail any business presentation, pitch meeting or conference with ease.

Wine Camp at wineLA

Here’s one camp that is definitely for adults only. Spend two hours learning everything you need to know to become a bona fide oenophile, including how wine is made, how to taste wine like a pro and how to decode wine labels. You’ll sip seven different selections along the way and leave class finally able to explain the difference between a cabernet sauvignon and a pinot noir.


Language Classes at HyperFluent

Los Angeles is a city of diverse people and communities. Nearly 40% of Angelenos are foreign-born (the majority coming from Latin America, but like most of the California coast, there are sizable East and Southeast Asian communities), so learning a new language can be useful socially and professionally. In the classes offered by HyperFluent, you’ll get small group or personalized private training in any number of languages, ranging from Spanish and Japanese to Turkish, Indonesian or Portuguese. They also offer ESL courses for Angelenos looking to improve their own English-speaking abilities.

Professional pizza course at VPN

Counting only carry-out from quick service restaurants, Americans spent a staggering 18.9 billion dollars on pizza last year, making it one of the most ordered foods in the country. If you want to get yourself a piece of this pie, you’ll want to learn how to make pizza professionally through an accredited training course. In this class, you’ll spend a week learning intensive pizza-making skills, including how to create a perfect Neopalitian pizza and how to ensure that every pizza you make comes out exactly as you intend. You’ll also learn how to navigate a professional pizza kitchen (where many pizzas are being prepped at once) and you’ll receive an official accreditation from the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana.


Beginning Knitting at the Knitting Tree

Fall’s right around the corner, so it’s time to bust out the knitting needles and get to work on your first scarf. The introductory classes at this Inglewood studio will teach you to cast on, knit and purl with the best of ‘em, and you’ll practice knitting a scarf, hat and shawl in class. When you’re ready to start your next project, you’ll want to shop the Knitting Tree’s selection of chic yarns from Los Angeles–area designers.

One-month improv at Improv Actor’s Studio

While most commonly associated with stage comedy, learning improv can be a valuable tool for anyone who wants to get better at thinking on their feet, collaborating as part of a group or performing publicly (like giving a presentation or delivering a conference paper). In this one month improv class, you’ll get live training working with other students on the fundamentals of improv and the techniques needed to make a scene collaborative and fun. This course aims to help you learn to trust your creative instincts and to be more confident in yourself when you make choices, be they in a professional acting role or in a pitch meeting at work next week.


Flower Design Star: 1-Week Comprehensive at The American School of Flower Design

You might not think about it often, but there are a lot of events happening everyday in Los Angeles that call for professional floral design. Whether it is someone buying a hand-crafted bouquet for an anniversary or preparing a massive arrangement for a wedding, these beautiful pieces are designed by someone. If that sounds up your alley, the American School of Flower Design has a comprehensive training program that will teach you everything you need to get a footing in the industry. You’ll work on 24 different designs in a variety of styles, helping you build your own portfolio to show to prospective clients and you’ll get trained in the business side of the process, such as working with wholesalers and visiting flower markets.

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