10 Classes That Can Pay for Themselves
Classes already help you grow as a person, but a lot of classes offer more than knowledge — they offer a way to make money in the long run, whether it be through resume-building skills or honing a particular crafty talent. Below is a list of 10 classes that can pay for themselves. But remember — you only get out of a class what you put into it, so expect to do a little grunt work. (See also: 10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies)
1. Business Class
Small business incubators are popping up in cities across the country. Most are non-profits, there to help wannabe entrepreneurs figure out what they need to make their business idea work. Others are offered by a city or town, there to help the community grow. I’m currently taking a collaborative business class from Launch Chattanooga. Learning how to market my ideas and budget my money and time, as well as meeting my fellow community members, has already made the class well worth it.
2. Language Class
The ultimate benefit? Understanding half the people around you. Living in New York, I heard languages from all around the world, but I could never understand a word they said. While learning a language isn’t easy, it’s rewarding, and learning in a class environment gives you a chance to practice. Try to pick a language that could help you professionally. Do your research — if there is an international company in town, there are likely bilingual jobs available.
3. Cooking Class
If you’re in a relationship, this is a great date option. Not only do you get to hone your cooking skills, but you also get a chance to eat a meal prepared together. And of course, eating in is usually cheaper than dining out.
4. Exercise Class
The obvious advantages of an exercise class are a slimmer tummy, tighter muscles, etc., but an exercise class can also give you confidence in yourself. And classes are far better than DVDs, especially when it comes to complicated yoga moves. Additionally, doing a class with others gives you an opportunity to network and create lasting friendships. I have a ton of friends who have done CrossFit, and they hang out with their fellow class members on a regular basis.
5. Certification Class
From CPR to computer skills, a certification can go a long way on a resume. If anything, it shows that you’re a fast learner (especially since a lot of those classes move quickly), have the wherewithal to accomplish personal goals and tasks, and, especially in the case of computer certifications, can use a variety of programs. And who knows, maybe one day certificate programs will replace college degrees.
6. Writing Class
When I was considering a major for college, all advisors told me the same thing — my major didn’t matter as long as I learned how to communicate. They were right. The more I move through society and consider a “career,” the only thing that matters is the fact that I can communicate well. Since college, I’ve taken a writing class, and it not only gave me a renewed sense of purpose for my writing career, but also helped me develop my communication skills just a little more. These classes help you express yourself, and when it comes down to it, expressing yourself is one of the most important things to know how to do.
7. Photography Class
While you might think that stunning picture that you took of a mountain proves you have skills, unfortunately, it’s probably just your camera and its nifty automatic settings. Why not take a class and learn how to use that camera at night (something I struggle with — everything always comes out so blurry) and what terms like aperture mean? You’ll walk away with an appreciation of all things beautiful and probably some original pictures of family and friends.
8. Improv Class
Improv classes are the perfect way to open up and become more personable in everyday situations. I’ve seen it with my own eyes — people who are naturally shy slowly come alive through improvisation. Improv also generally has a fantastic, supportive community. While some might be doing it to get ahead, most are just having fun. By the end of a few classes, you’ll be more able to talk to strangers, network at work functions and, most importantly, laugh.
9. Craft Class
What you get out of this is a craft (duh). And crafting skills. And craftiness. Okay, maybe not the last one, but you will walk away from this class with a tangible product, whether it be pottery or painting or sewing. There are a lot of painting and drinking classes nowadays too, which is perfect for a grown-up birthday party.
10. Resume Writing Class
Writing a resume is, in my opinion, one of the most important skills a person can possess. You may have worked your butt off at a job and know everything there is to know, but if you don’t know how to express it on a resume, you’ll never get called for an interview. I used to suffer from this problem, unfortunately. I ended up using my friend’s knowledge of “good” resumes, and once she fixed mine up, I got calls non-stop. If you know you can do the job, you should get the job — don’t sell yourself short on your resume.
What are some classes you’ve reaped more than just knowledge from?