At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Further education is the process of continuing one's education beyond high school, but typically not in a more traditional higher education process at a college or university. Instead, further education might refer to a certificate program, such as one that can be completed online or with a few months of study, or attending a trade school to become qualified for a specific profession. This type of education can be a great idea for people who wish to make a career change, or want to become more qualified for their current career, perhaps to get a pay raise or a promotion.
Further education classes are often given at local community colleges, or there are a great deal of options online. Medical transcription courses, for example, are a common type of continuing education. They typically only take a few months to complete, and offer a certification process at the end. Someone who has this certification typically finds it much easier to find a job in his or her field.
Of course, there are a number of other options for this type of further education; it is common to see television commercials listing various options, such as veterinary assistant or paralegal, among others. Though there is a charge for these classes, some employers might offer reimbursement if it is related to one's current job. Unfortunately, there is little or no financial aid available for these programs, though loans may still be an option.
Some further education classes might just be taken for fun or enjoyment. These might be offered in the evenings or during the summer at local colleges, or even high schools, and are often taught by local members of the community. They might include things like yoga classes, computer classes, book clubs, or cooking classes, just to name a few. These types of classes will typically not help to advance in a career, but might be a fun way to meet people and learn a new skill. There is typically a small fee associated with the class, but not as much as the career advancement classes discussed above.
Some people find that they enjoy taking further education classes so much that they decide to go back to school for an associate's or a bachelor's degree. Grades earned in these types of classes can be used when applying for an actual degree program, which can be particularly helpful if one's grades in high school were not great. In most cases, the further education classes will not qualify for any type of college credit, but they can still improve a person's chances of being accepted.