Learning skills for ‘new-collar jobs’ could add thousands to salary

Some also include career coaching.

“All of the pieces taken together play a critical role in making sure all the students are set up for success,” said Tom Ogletree, senior director of social impact and external affairs at General Assembly, an experiential education company focused on today’s most in-demand skills.

In addition, a number are low cost or even free.

“It’s super important for people to have access to education and for that to be accessible from a cost perspective,” said Zach Sims, co-founder and CEO of Codeacademy, a tech education company.

Most for-profit schools have classes at multiple price points, ranging from free online courses to full-time intensive sessions that can cost up to $15,000. Free courses are generally massive open online courses, or moocs. For classes with tuition, students apply and some schools offer scholarships. Students cannot receive federal aid, however, because these programs are not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

For students worried about accreditation, hesitant about for-profit schools or those who want to make sure investing in their education will pay off, there are some things to look out for. You can check to see if a school is accredited by searching for it on the U.S. Department of Education website. You can also search your state’s education department website to see if a school is licensed.

Potential students should also search the school’s history and read reviews from former students. Make sure you know costs of tuition up front, ask about the graduation and job placement rate and how those numbers are reported. If you have any questions about the school, ask an employee or a former student.

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