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IAP Career College Review: Is It Really Worth It?

In our honest review of IAP Career College, we’ll explain how these courses work and point out their benefits as well as potential deal-breakers.

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IAP Career College: Our Verdict (2023)

Platform Rating

4.3 / 5

With IAP Career College, you can earn a certificate in your dream career for an affordable price. Courses have flexible schedules and are focused on practical information and the specific steps you should take to pursue your career. The courses do overpromise what they can achieve in some instances, and as successors to the books that made the company famous, they are mainly text-based. But IAP Career College's courses are in general well-structured learning opportunities targeted for learners looking to get started in a new career or venture. Especially if looking to enter a more narrow field (such as becoming a death doula), these courses are the best ones out there.


  • Unique career-specific programs
  • Flexible schedules
  • Affordable fees


  • Largely text-based delivery
  • Lack of variety in content delivery
  • No real-time support


If you have a dream career but don’t know how to turn your vision into reality, you might be interested in what IAP Career College has to offer. The parent company of IAP Career College was established online in 1999, providing career guides that have been featured in some of the world’s top news sites. The company also offers affordable online certificate programs with flexible schedules for aspiring learners looking for a career change. All of that sounds amazing – but are these programs ultimately worth it?  

IAP Career College homepage first screen
The homepage of IAP Career College in 2023
Table of Contents

What is IAP Career College?

The International Associations of Professions Career College (or IAP Career College) is a division of FabJob Inc, an organization responsible for publishing career guidebooks on how to get started in a dream career. And we’re not talking guides for how to become a doctor, architect, or lawyer – the guidebooks cover everything from how to become a Bridal Salon Owner to an Etiquette Consultant, via how to become a Pop Star.

While the books are no longer updated (the most recent editions are from 2016/2017), the founders of FabJob joined forces with a team of academics and created a well-structured online learning program with the goal of making professional, non-traditional career education more accessible. Thanks to IAP Career College programs, you can focus on your career goals (no matter how unusual they might be) and acquire the necessary skills from the comfort of your home.

It’s an appealing idea for sure – taking lessons at home and being one step closer to your dream job. But what does the IAP Career College programs entail, and what type of careers are they focused on?

Whether you want to take an online certificate course or a short course, you’ll be learning from an experienced team of instructors. In addition to academic knowledge, the IAP faculty members have experience in the relevant field, so they can provide you with practical information, tips, and personal experiences. The courses are the direct descendants of the career guide books – as a result, many of them are primarily interactive updated versions of those books, for better or worse.

When you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a downloadable certificate. You can also order official personalized certificates printed on fine linen paper and embossed with the gold seal of the IAP Career College.

How much does IAP Career College cost?

IAP Career College is known for offering reasonably priced online courses that won’t break the bank.

Their basic courses are valued at $377, but there are often discounted prices available. For instance, at the time of writing, you can register for the basic 6-week certificate course for less than $200 – most certificate courses we checked cost $149.

Now, you have every right to be suspicious. Cheap online courses tend to offer the same quality as cheap acoustic guitars – they are more difficult to play, and they will not benefit you in the long run. However, if the brand can afford to produce low-priced instruments without significantly decreasing the quality… It’s a similar story with the IAP Career College. Since they have been publishing leading guides for dream careers for over 20 years, the bulk of their core material was already developed, and they are able to offer online courses at a lower cost.

That being said, IAP Career College courses are worthy of consideration, even if you’re on a budget. Compared to some other options, they’re quite affordable.

Moreover, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you’re not satisfied with your Course for any reason, you can request a full refund of all fees. Importantly, note that you will not be able to get a refund once you have sat for your exam – this seems to have affected a few unhappy students who had not read the terms carefully.

What is included in the registration fee?

If you decide to enroll in an online course, you’ll get access to a package that includes:

  • Registration for the certificate course of your choice
  • Access to a Faculty Member (for personal teaching assistance and career advice)
  • A textbook in e-book format
  • Optional “professional association” membership with benefits for $2 per month
  • A personalized downloadable certificate upon completion of course
  • The possibility to get a printed certificate

Review of IAP Certificate Courses

When it comes to online IAP courses, they stand out from the crowd for their unique content and learning paths that often can’t be found in standard college curriculums, or even most other online course platforms with a wide selection of topics (such as Udemy, Domestika, and Skillshare). In other words, IAP’s focus on non-traditional careers is refreshing – and you won’t find programs for many of these anywhere else.

What careers can you choose?

With IAP Career College, you can learn how to become a Motivational Speaker, a Professional Organizer, a Relationship Coach… You can also learn how to start a business and become an owner of an Art Gallery, Yoga Studio, Coffee House, and so on.

There are dozens of certificate courses to choose from. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Life Coach Certificate Course
  • Professional Organizer Certificate Course
  • Death Doula Certificate Course
  • Event Planner Certificate Course
  • Home Stager Certificate Course
  • Interior Decorator Certificate Course
  • Bookkeeper Certificate Course
  • Human Resources Consultant Certificate Course
  • Daycare Owner Certificate Course
  • Florist Certificate Course
A collage of IAP Career College certificate courses including Life Coach, Professional Organizer, Event Planner, and more
IAP Career College Course Categories

What will you learn in a Course?

IAP Career College offers 6-week part-time courses focused on a specific dream career. Each course covers a variety of topics, from theoretical knowledge to practical information. Lessons are concise and straight to the point, so you can acquire the necessary skills in a quick and effective way. After all, 6 weeks is not that long, and there’s even a possibility to complete the course in less than that if you have more time to commit. In any case, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and learn from experts.

The IAP Career College certificates deliver on their specificity – you’re not served much generic coursework, but rather, you’ll get material on how to approach a certain career path. For example, if you opt for a Book Editor Certificate Course, you’ll learn how to develop your skills to succeed in a book editing career. You’ll also learn how to search and get hired for a job and how to start your own freelance editing business.

Some other topics covered in the Book Editor Certificate Course include:

  • The Book Publishing Industry
  • Benefits of Being a Book Editor
  • Grammar and Language Skills
  • Freelance Editors
  • Financial Matters
  • Marketing Techniques
  • Client Contracts
showcasing flexible learning opportunities and support for your career goals
Flexible Learning Options with IAP Career College

This course is self-directed, which means students are encouraged to study and complete assignments at times that are most convenient for them. But in case you need assistance, you can reach out to a Faculty Member (it should be noted that several students have complained about slow responses to their requests – but this is not particularly surprising given the low price point of the courses).

Certainly, these programs are not in any way equivalent to full degree programs that provide well-rounded courses that equip students with valuable knowledge and skills that open up a range of career options. But if you know exactly what you want to do (for instance, start your own Bed and Breakfast business), what you tend to need are specific guidelines on how to get things started. And that’s where IAP Certificate Courses come to the rescue.

How long is each course?

IAP Career College offers 6-week certificate courses. However, these courses can be completed in as little as 4 weeks or as long as 12 weeks. It all depends on your goals and your schedule. So, even though each course has a scheduled start date, you can actually start at any point within the first six weeks. Also, you can pick what time of day you wish to do your work. Everything is very flexible, which allows you to learn at your own pace.

What do lessons look like?

Since there’s no strict schedule or a tutor that will guide you, you can choose when and how you want to approach your material. However, each week includes suggested readings from the textbook. After each reading, you are given review questions. Essentially, these review questions are guides to prepare you for the Final Exam.

You will not get a lot of handholding or clear guidance during your lessons. So, whether you believe this is a disadvantage or not depends on your preferences and learning habits.

Final exams

After each course, IAP learners can take a final exam. The final exam is included in the course registration fee, so there’s no additional cost.

All students require a 60% mark on their final exam to receive a certificate. If you don’t pass the exam, you can retake the course for a reduced registration fee. However, students who do the course readings should be able to pass it on the first attempt.

IAP certificates

Once you complete your course and pass a final exam, you’ll receive a certificate. Generally, you need to complete only one course to earn a certificate in that career. So, when you successfully complete the Book Editor Certificate Course, you’ll earn a Book Editor certificate from the International Association of Professions Career College.

This kind of certificate works like a diploma or degree in the sense that it doesn’t expire. Now, depending on the course topic, students may receive information about special requirements to get a license to work in that career in different jurisdictions.

As we mentioned before, you can order official certificates (printed on fine linen paper and embossed with the gold seal of the college) for a fee of $35.

Other IAP courses

In addition to online certificate courses, IAP Career College offers Life Experience Certifications, Master Certification Courses, and Short Courses on Business Skills.

Life Experience Certifications are intended for those who have experience working in one of the fields for which IAP Career College provides career education.

Master Certification Courses are aimed at professional career coaches, including IAP graduates who have achieved a high level of success in the basic Career Coach Certificate Course Online.

And, if you’re a consultant or professional who wants to learn a new skill in a quick and convenient way, then you should check out IBMCC online short courses focused on a specific business skill. These courses can be completed in 3 hours.

Who is IAP Career College for?

Online Certificate Courses are a great option for those who have a specific career goal. For instance, if you want to become a bar owner, there’s a course that will help you start your business. These part-time online courses are rather short – they can be completed in 4 weeks – so they’re ideal for people who don’t want to spend years in a traditional study program. After all, if you want to become a bar owner, there are no degree programs that will equip you with specific, practical information and the necessary skills.

That being said, IAP Career College is best for people who have a specific dream career in mind. Whether you want to become a life coach or a bar owner, IAP Career College will meet your needs – and it will provide you with innovative, up-to-date courses that will help you get around in that particular field of work.

On the other hand, if you prefer clear guidance and a more traditional way of learning, IAP online certificate courses might be a bit challenging for you. The thing is, everyone has their own unique learning habits, and some people prefer to listen to their tutor. In this case, you won’t communicate with a teacher (unless you need help), and you’re basically on your own.

It’s true – this type of online learning requires discipline and organization skills as well as a high level of inner motivation. It all depends on your goals, priorities, and learning habits though. If you’re willing to learn and you have clear career goals, you’re a good candidate for IAP Career College.

What do others say?

Student reviews of Online IAP Career College are generally positive. In TrustPilot, IAP Career College has an impressive 4.9 rating with more than 1,600 reviews. Many users are satisfied with the program’s flexibility, and they claim the courses are informative and easy to understand.

Those with more negative views of IAP Career College, while relatively few, tend to be unhappy with:

  • The course format is too text-heavy rather than being based on video lectures
  • The courses are too easy, and it is possible to pass the assessments without preparing much
  • Some courses feature material that has not been updated for several years (sometimes for more than a decade)

Advantages (Pros) of IAP Career College

✅ Unique career-specific programs

Another reason you may want to start an IAP course is the type of career you want to pursue. IAP Career College is focused on non-traditional careers, providing content and learning material that (in most cases) can’t be found in standard college curriculums. For example, with IAP Career College, you can learn how to become a bridal salon owner, a freelance writer, or a happiness coach.

On the other hand, there are also some more traditional courses to choose from, including Astronomy, Biology, and Philosophy Certificate Courses.

✅ Flexibility

IAP Career College offers online courses that can be completed in 6 weeks. However, they can be completed in 4 weeks or 12 weeks, and sometimes in as many as 18 weeks. It all depends on your schedule.

Plus, you can learn any time you want. There are suggested readings each week, but there’s no strict schedule. That said, if you’re looking for a flexible and convenient way to take lessons from the comfort of your home, IAP Career College might be a good option for you.

✅ Affordable fees

IAP Career College offers affordable online courses. This way, you don’t have to spend a fortune to attend lessons and get a certificate. Compared to some other educational options, IAP Career College fees are relatively low.

Disadvantages (Cons) of IAP Career College

❌ Largely text-based delivery

The courses are based on the career guides that used to be the bread and butter of IAP’s parent company – and it shows. The courses are almost completely text-based, and you might feel that you might as well just get a book (but this, however, is not an option – the books are no longer being updated)

❌ Lack of variety

With IAP Career College programs, the course outline is broken into a 6-week program. You can learn at your own pace, and that’s clearly an advantage for most people. But unless you’re well-organized and disciplined, this can also be a drawback.

There’s no variety in the way the content is delivered, and that can be discouraging and even daunting at times. We’re all used to reading and studying, and that’s a classic way of acquiring knowledge, but with so many innovative and interactive learning methods, it’s a shame that IAP Career Colleges sticks to textbook learning; quite literally.

❌ No tutoring

Another thing that might bother some students is a lack of guidance. While there’s a possibility to reach out to a Faculty Member and even get valuable career advice, there’s no real human interaction during lessons with either teachers or other students. And when your energy level starts to drop, it’s good to have someone to keep you motivated and focused.

Conclusion: Is IAP Career College worth it?

All things considered, IAP Career College provides a convenient and affordable way to learn new skills and get physical evidence of your expertise. Their online certificate courses are well-organized and useful, and they provide specific guidelines on how to find a job you’ve always dreamed of.

However, this type of online learning can get a bit dry – there’s no tutor to keep you engaged, and there’s no variety of formats. Yes, you can reach out to a Faculty Member in case you need assistance (if you’re taking a Certificate Course), but some students require more attention and guidance.  So, it all depends on your preferences and habits.

If you prefer learning on your own and at your own pace, IAP Career College might be a good option for you. It’s accessible and flexible, and it provides specific online courses that will allow you to focus on your dream career.