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What are the Different Types of Continuing Education Training?

By Terrie Brockmann
Updated May 17, 2024
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The variety of continuing education training programs ranges from quick, one-hour seminars to full-time college courses. When considering continuing education courses, a person may want to identify his or her skill gaps and choose classes or seminars accordingly. Accredited schools usually have counselors who can help a prospective student choose the proper courses to bridge skill gaps. Other types of continuing education training are designed for personal growth more than professional development.

Many times an employer will offer training at work, but if a person is seeking training beyond the workplace, he or she should choose an accredited school. There are several types of accreditation, and many government agencies, such as regional and national departments of education, offer lists of accredited or certified programs. In the U.S., many individual states have an association or council of continuing education that regulates the standards and policies of educational institutions. The institutions may be required to renew their certification annually in order to retain their accreditation. Often governments offer financial aid for courses in accredited programs.

Generally, universities, technical schools, and other accredited programs offer a variety of course options. Many offer day and night courses, distance learning or online courses, and satellite learning centers. Several educational institutions, schools, and universities offer non-credit career enhancement courses or non-credit workshops. Technical schools and colleges specialize in teaching skills that often enhance a student's job skills. Some employers have education programs that offer reimbursement for schooling costs.

Sometimes businesses train their clientele in a series of continuing education training sessions. This type of continuing education training usually is valuable to both the employer and the employee. Often companies will reimburse employees for the costs incurred while getting a certificate or degree, such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification.

Not all continuing education training is job related. Occasionally people seek out courses for personal reasons. Generally, universities and other educational institutions offer special rates for auditing classes, and many have senior programs that offer special rates to older students. Writing and art classes are very popular with people who are seeking personal growth more than professional growth. By entering "adult education" into an Internet search engine, a person can find an abundance of continuing education opportunities.

The growth of online classes and workshops has spurred an increase in customized training. Using self-assessment quizzes as a guideline, a person can create a series of classes that will enhance his or her existing skills. For example, a musician may take a series of business management and accounting classes to be able to manage the band's business and finances. As another example, a lead in a factory may take classes in supervisory management to improve his or her leadership skills.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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