5 things I learned about the new Professional Education program at UAB


Cori Perdue in front of the UAB Collat School of Business. Photo via Bham Now

Whether you’re a recent graduate, a seasoned professional or just looking to gain marketable skills, the Professional Education Program at UAB’s Collat School of Business can help you get from point A to point B. I got to sit down with director Cori Perdue for an inside look at the program. Here’s what I learned.

1. The Program is Powered by Cori Perdue’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

Cori Perdue at the UAB Collat School of Business
Cori Perdue is the Director of the Professional Education program. Photo via Bham Now

Throughout her life, Cori Perdue has been driven by her entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, she created her first job by persuading her hometown Ritz-Carlton Resort that they needed to add a swimming program and an instructor–and that she was perfect for the job. During her time at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Cori developed eight different programs from scratch.

Cori joined the UAB family in August 2018. Based on her past record, the UAB Collat School of Business chose Cori to bring the Professional Education program to life.

2. The Program Adapts to the Community’s Needs

The classroom of the UAB Professional Education program
Classroom of UAB Collat Professional Education. Photo via Bham Now

First and foremost, Professional Education wants to stay relevant to the community’s needs. So if you’re looking for a cyber-security class, Cori will find professors doing cutting edge cyber-security research and recruit them for a class.

The department offers classes in two formats:

  1. Open enrollment for community members, UAB employees and any who would like to take the classes.
  2. Custom programs for businesses, corporations and departments on campus.

Professional Education has designed custom programs for companies in leadership, sales training, personal finance and much more. For instance, several leaders at Kemp Management Solutions (KMS) took project management courses in the Professional Education program. Now, Professional Education and KMS are working together to create a specialized training program that combines the best practices of each organization. Once the program is complete, Professional Education will offer monthly training courses for KMS employees based on the curriculum.

3. You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

The classroom of the UAB Professional Education program
A management class at UAB Collat’s Professional Education program. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Visit a class and you might be surprised by the level of diversity. Students range from recent graduates to professionals with 10 to 35 years of experience.

Additionally, the program is very flexible. For professionals locked in a tight weekly schedule, this is great news.

Since each Friday class is catered, students can connect in a relaxed setting and learn from each other. During lunch hour, students of diverse professional and personal backgrounds share their experiences and knowledge. In fact, students have even found jobs through the connections they made during lunch hour.

4. Professional Education Has Exciting Partnerships

A teacher in the classroom of the UAB Professional Education program
A project management teacher during a class at Professional Education. Photo via Bham Now

Recently, the National Center for Women & Technology (NCWIT) formed a partnership with the Professional Education program at UAB to offer eligible women full scholarships for Project Management and Agile Project Management as part of the Alabama Digital Skills Initiative. The Alabama Digital Skills Initiative is part of the Regional Initiatives work that the NCWIT launched in early 2019.

The exciting part? The Alabama Digital Skills Initiative is offering fully-funded scholarships to as many women that meet the criteria as possible! Visit their website to learn more.  

5. In 2020, Learning is Everything

Professional Education helps you get ready for the next step in your career. Photo via Bham Now

Today’s work world is constantly changing, and you need to adapt and learn new skills in order to stay ahead of the game. Since many employers are looking at what skills a potential employee possesses, having micro credentials and certificates is incredibly valuable.

After earning his Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate in the Professional Education program, one student received four job offers the same day he added PMP to his resume!

Now more than ever, you can’t stop learning or you will be left behind.

Learn More About Professional Education

Learn marketable skills at UAB’s Professional Education program. Photo via Bham Now

Contact: 205.934.7604 | cmperdue@uab.edu

Ready to take the next step? You can request more information about the classes at the Professional Education program online.

What skills would you like to learn at the Professional Education program? Let us know by tagging us @bhamnow !

Sponsored by:

  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.