This guide will help you understand the various ways to choose and leverage a Professional Edge course for your own professional development and job search.

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Choosing a Course

Professional Edge allows you to gain knowledge and skills towards your career interests, as a complement to your degree program. You should choose a course that introduces new material not discussed in your for-credit courses.

Examples:

  • A student majoring in Finance with a career goal of doing business development in the sports industry would benefit from a “Business Operations in Sports” course.
  • A student majoring in Environmental Studies with a career goal of working in grant writing would benefit from a “Grant Writing Technologies” course.
  • A student majoring in Art History would not gain new knowledge or skills by enrolling in an art history course.

As you think about your career interests, it’s important to understand your goals and develop a career action plan that can put you on a path to success. The Wasserman Center encourages you to meet with a career coach to discuss your career interests and how a Professional Edge course can enhance your professional brand.

Visit the Wasserman Center during drop-in hours, or schedule an appointment via NYU CareerNet.

Courses You Should Not Select

The Professional Edge course you select should be directly related to your professional development and/or exposure. It should not serve as a tutoring course to assist you in improving your academic performance for your current degree or an enrichment leisure course.

Examples of topic areas that are not recommended as your Professional Edge course are listed below:

  • Art History and Architecture
  • Fashion
  • Photography
  • Studio Art
  • English As a Second Language
  • Film Studies
  • Global History
  • High School Academy
  • Humanities
  • Language Proficiency Testing
  • Writing and Communications - Fiction and Poetry

Note: Select courses are not available through Professional Edge, including Diploma Program courses and English-language courses offered through the American Language Institute.

Noncredit Classroom Experience

The noncredit classroom experience is unique and may be distinct from your undergraduate courses.

Noncredit courses at the School of Professional Studies are taught by practitioner adjunct faculty – many of whom are active professionals in their field and teach on a part-time basis.

Students that enroll in noncredit courses range in professional background, age, and academic experience. Open enrollment, noncredit courses are geared toward content exposure and are typically lightly assessed. 

Building Your Resume

Consider including accomplishments and skills gained from your Professional Edge course in your resume to show industry and job-specific skills that may complement your degree program.

Example: You are a Computer Science major and are interested in business analyst roles in healthcare but have no direct healthcare experience. You enroll in the “Healthcare Analytics” course. Create a “Relevant Academic Projects” section on your resume to showcase what you learned in the course and make your background more relevant to healthcare organizations.

Sample:

RELEVANT ACADEMIC PROJECTS
New York University, New York, NY
Healthcare Analytics Fall 2017

  • Applied analytics tools and techniques to improve patient outcomes, reimbursement, safety, and operational effectiveness through complex case studies
  • Analyzed data, developed connections among data, and explored opportunities for improvements for 1,000 bed hospital. Presented findings to faculty member through a presentation and report
  • Conducted statistical analyses and data mining techniques using R, a open-access analytical software

Incorporating Experiences into Interviews

Incorporate accomplishments and skills gained from your Professional Edge course into your interview answers, especially when answering questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “How has your time at NYU prepared you for this job?”. This can show a potential employer that you have a genuine interest in their field and that you have taken the steps to plan for this career path while completing your NYU degree.

Example: You are an applied psychology major and you want to work in human resources after graduation. You enroll in a Foundations in HR: Recruitment and Selection course. At the same time, you begin to apply for Human Resources Coordinator roles in tech companies. You have a phone interview and the interviewer asks “How has your coursework at NYU prepared you for a career in HR and recruiting?”

Sample Answer: During my senior year at NYU, I made the decision to enroll in a HR course focused on recruitment and selection. This course placed emphasis on how HR teams find, recruit, select, and place applicants from all levels. Over the 8-week course, I learned how to effectively read a candidate’s resume and design a good application form. I gained knowledge about in-house recruitment techniques for sourcing hard to find skillsets and role played interviewing potential candidates both in-person and by phone. This course helped to solidify my interest in pursuing job opportunities in HR and recruiting. This is why I applied to this position and I am excited to learn more through our conversation today. 

Expanding Your Network

You may find that your faculty or classmates include professionals who are currently working in your desired industry or career. By building authentic relationships with professors and classmates, you can create your own network of individuals that can provide information and opportunities to support your career.  

  • Ask a faculty member or classmate to meet for an informational conversation about their job or career path
  • Share relevant articles with peers to show your own expertise and interest in the course
  • Connect with them on LinkedIn to stay in touch and provide updates in the future

Example: During your "Mobile App Marketing" course, you meet a classmate who works at Salesforce. After working on a project together, she mentions that Salesforce has a Customer Intelligence Trainee program for recent graduates that may be of interest to you. What should you do next? Ask if she is willing to meet you for coffee so that you can learn more about her experience at Salesforce and the trainee program. For more tips on informational interviewing and networking, meet with a career coach at the NYU Wasserman Center or log into NYU CareerNet and check out our career resources.