Continuing Education 2012

Continuing studies in NYC—from computer courses, cooking classes and language lessons to photography classes and yoga instruction.

Illustration: Joe Paul

Growth industries

Health care is the country’s fastest-growing industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released projected employment statistics through 2020 earlier this year. As the boomers enter their golden years, there will be increased demand for health-care-support jobs such as home health aides (at a projected growth rate of 35 percent over the next ten years, more than twice the overall workforce, it’s the fastest-growing occupational group, according to the BLS), but an aging population isn’t the only factor, says Michael Wolf, branch chief of the BLS’s National Employment Matrix. “There’s more that you can do in health care than you could in the past, and that’s also causing growth,” he explains. “As the population lives longer and as we have more possible types of treatment available, that leads to larger demand for health-care services and workers in health-care fields.”

The biotech industry is accelerating dramatically, creating jobs for medical scientists and biomedical engineers. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline can take individual courses in NYU-Poly’s M.S. in Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship program (718-260-3600,, in consultation with the program director to decide if they want to pursue the degree. Hot topics include Biosensors and Biochips (Thu 3–5:30pm Sept 4–Dec 21) and Biotechnology and Health Care (Tue 3–5:30pm Sept 4–Dec 21).

Given the constant sight of sidewalk sheds in most parts of the city, it wouldn’t surprise most New Yorkers to learn that the construction industry is the second-speediest-growing field. There is a caveat, though: Because the sector was hit hard by the recession, despite rapid growth in the next decade, it won’t bounce back to prerecession levels, and many of the “new” jobs will be filled by previously laid-off workers. If you want to move into construction management, Pace University’s Construction Project Management Certificate (Sat Oct 6–27; four weeks $495; 914-773-3714, covers the necessary skills (how to estimate cost, establish schedules and monitor performance, for example) and safety regulations.

The bursting of the dot-com bubble didn’t inflict lasting damage on the tech industry—it’s kept expanding at a steady rate, even during the recession, says Wolf. “Computer occupations continued to grow over the past three to four years even as many other occupations were declining.” Because of the field’s constantly evolving nature, it’s difficult for the BLS to measure individual occupations, but software developers and network and database administrators are all expected to be in demand.—Lisa Ritchie


Even before bendy buses, a Starbucks on every block and the demise of the subway token, the city has always spoken numerous different languages and workshipped at many different altars. In 92YTribeca’s “The History of NYC, 1609–1830, you’ll experience Nieuw Amsterdam, an old New York that is surprisingly like the new version. Seven sessions plus a walking tour (200 Hudson St at Canal St; 212-415-5500,; starts Thu Oct 4 10:30am–noon; $285) focus on what grew—in under 200 years—from a Dutch trading post bounded on the north by Wall Street to a city so sure of itself that it proposed seceding from the newly formed U.S. Learn about King Charles II’s connection to the city, the one hurricane that hit us directly and the characters that helped change the course of history. Finally, embark on a tour of the extant historical sites—tangible evidence of the city’s amazing past. —Jana Martin


For people who want to help cure the world’s ills, or simply move into an area that allows travel, educational institutions are responding to an increasingly global job market. In addition to its M.S. and certificate programs in global affairs, the NYU-SCPS Center for Global Affairs (212-998-7150, offers a certificate in global philanthropy, geared toward students who want to work in government programs or NGOs. Continuing ed courses at the Center—which focus on such diverse topics as politics, international economics and law, human rights and the environment—can also be taken individually. Anyone who wants to understand how the forthcoming election will affect American foreign policy should sign up for “World Views and the Real World: Foreign Policy Doctrines and Presidential Elections” (Mon 6:25–8:25pm; ten weeks $525; Sept 24–Dec 10); taught by a former deputy assistant secretary of international information programs at the U.S. Department of State, Dr. Judith Siegel, the class will compare the candidates’ vastly opposing standpoints. In “The Middle East: Fallout from the Arab Spring” (Wed 10–11:45am; ten weeks $525; Sept 19–Dec 5), prominent Middle East expert Alon Ben-Meir looks at the repercussions on the politics and economic development in the evolving region.

The shifting of the world economy provides the context for Columbia School of Continuing Education’s “Global Emerging Markets: Capital Flows, Policies and Financial Institutions” (Thu 6:10–8:40pm; 14 weeks; Sept 4–Dec 10), taught by Isabelle Delalex, whose CV includes Goldman Sachs and the U.N. Capital Development Fund which researches investment potential and risk in other parts of the world. Students must have a grounding in basic financial concepts in order to participate.

In an increasingly global marketplace, the business of how goods move around the world grows in importance. Baruch College (646-312-5000, offers the city’s most comprehensive program in global trade and continuing ed courses are run in collaboration with the college’s Weissman Center for International Business. “International Trade—Embarking on the Global Marketplace” (Mon 6:15–8:45pm; ten weeks $719; Sept 24–Dec 3, Oct 15–Nov 14) provides an introduction to the field. “E-Commerce, the Internet and International Trade” (Tue 6:15–8:45pm; eight weeks $579; Oct 2–Nov 20) provides instruction in using the Web as a research and marketing tool, as well as the practicalities of launching your own online business.—Lisa Ritchie