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The best online courses for career development

At a glance

  • Staying updated on industry trends can help pave the way for long-term career growth.
  • Non-degree students take individual courses to prepare for new opportunities, to lay the foundation for a career change or to maintain industry certifications and professional licenses.
  • At University of Phoenix, some of the most popular individual courses are in subjects like education, science and business.
  • Non-degree-seeking students can leverage UOPX’s career services, like resumé assistance, job listings and access to career advisors. 

Career enhancement, one course at a time

In today’s fast-paced job market (with even quicker developing technology), keeping up with industry trends is essential for long-term career success. Some of your colleagues might be heading back to school to strengthen their professional skills. But what if a full degree program isn’t an option for you right now?

This is where University of Phoenix (UOPX) steps in.

Long dedicated to the needs of professional working students, UOPX offers individual courses as a smart, straightforward strategy to gain professional skills and demonstrate them to employers in real time. 

Explore more than 600 credit-bearing courses to help you meet your educational goals. 

Taking single courses as a non-degree-seeking student might be more common than you realize. In 2022, UOPX delivered 22,000+ courses to more than 11,900 non-degree students.

We spoke to three career and enrollment professionals to dig into the benefits of taking individual courses at UOPX and how they help bridge those pesky skill gaps, maintain an essential industry certification or even fast-track a degree

How individual courses sharpen your professional edge

Popular career platforms, like, emphasize the edge that comes with maintaining professional skills.

Jessica Roper, the director of career services at UOPX, explains: “Individual courses can provide tailored knowledge and skill development — especially in rapidly evolving industries.” 

The benefits of individual courses go beyond what you learn too. They also serve as valuable networking platforms.

“Individual courses provide opportunities to connect with instructors, classmates and industry professionals, which can be valuable for job hunting and career enhancement,” Roper says.

In a job climate where some career experts estimate that up to 80% of jobs are never posted (also known as the hidden job market), having plenty of connections can be helpful. 

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Another benefit of taking an individual course? Bridging that skill deficit you fear is holding you back. “Individual courses can also help address skill gaps, which can be especially valuable for career changers. They can provide essential foundational knowledge and help bridge the gap between previous experience and desired career opportunities,” Roper says.

UOPX’s focus on providing skills-aligned learning means that students earn career-relevant knowledge in weeks rather than months or years. 

Popular individual courses for career growth  

With more than 600 individual courses in the UOPX catalog, how do you find the right one? That will depend on your industry and professional objectives. Here’s what works for a lot of people, based on high enrollment rates by non-degree-seeking students and the courses’ alignment with industry demands.

Education courses

UOPX is a significant provider of continuing education for professional educators. In 2022, for example, 5,700 non-degree students took upward of 10,000 education courses at UOPX.

We have a ton of students in the education field,” says Chantel Hansen, manager of education enrollment. “Teachers might need credits to [work toward professional goals] or add an endorsement or certification onto their license.”

The continuing education options for educators include courses aligned with state requirements alongside many common classes, such as Using Apps in the Classroom, that are geared toward industry trends.

Psychology courses  

UOPX supports professional skills development in psychology with more than 30 psychology classes spanning the undergraduate and graduate levels. Check out Psychology of Learning (PSY/110), a five-week class emphasizing career-relevant skills, such as innovation, problem-solving and strategic thinking

Accounting courses

Whether you’re looking to update your accounting skills for your day job or an entrepreneurial side project, UOPX can help you learn to manage the books. “Principles of Accounting I and Principles of Accounting II are two of our most popular courses,” notes Natasha Maldonado-Buckey, an executive enrollment representative at UOPX. 

IT courses 

UOPX’s 50+ internet technology and 30+ cybersecurity courses offer working professionals the latest training in tech skills.

Taught by industry professionals, students can obtain proficiencies in cloud services, C++ programming, Java programming and more.   

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Why choose UOPX for career development? 

University of Phoenix has always been committed to helping working adults meet their academic and professional goals, and that means flexible and skill-based learning opportunities designed to meet you where you are in your professional journey. Courses are often just 5 to 6 weeks long and offer multiple start dates — which means no waiting for the traditional college semester to begin!

Also, you don’t have to be enrolled in a full-degree program to take advantage of the suite of career support services available to students and alumni. Roper adds: “These career tools include resumé and cover letter templates, on-demand career guides and access to the UOPX Career Navigator, a career guidance platform where students can learn about careers and explore job postings, and PhoenixLink™ network, where they can connect with other students and alumni, plus get individual feedback from career advisors.”

Take the next step with UOPX

The best way to enhance your career with individual courses is to first reflect on your goals. Then, reach out to a UOPX enrollment representative.

Think about what this is going to do for you and your career,” advises Maldonado-Buckey. “For example, do you want to learn QuickBooks tools to be eligible for new opportunities? Or does your boss want you to take a specific course? Or are you considering pursuing a degree but prefer to take one course [first to see if it is a good fit]? We’re here to help students decide if taking an individual course, and which one, is right for them.”

Once you decide which course or degree is right for your goals, UOPX can help then too.

“We are also working with the students, even non-degree students, on which type of financial options are available and how we can help them progress,” Hansen adds.

As you contemplate the next stage of your professional journey, know that UOPX is here to guide you every step of the way. For personalized advice, reach out to an enrollment representative at 844-937-8679 and explore education options today. 

Portrait of Claire O'Brien


Claire O’Brien has led copywriting teams for Hilton Worldwide Corporate’s creative studio and advertising agencies specializing in the real estate, hospitality, education and travel industries. In 2020, she founded More Better Words, a boutique copywriting agency that taps into her global connections. She lives in Costa Rica with her husband and six rescue dogs.


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