What Does Continuing Education Mean?

Continuing education is what refers to various kinds of adult education that is pursued in order to gain more certifications or credits so you can keep your current licensure status. Most any person can go through continuing education courses for enrichment in either their professional or personal lives. People in all job areas take advantage of continuing education in order to further themselves in life. Any type of career field offers these classes including nursing, financial specialists, personal trainers, teachers, etc. Although anyone can go ahead with continuing education, it is specifically targeted towards those who are already degree holders.

Continuing education comes in many forms. You can take workshops, home study programs, seminars, online classes, hands-on training, conference courses and in-service. For instance, certified nursing assistants are required to have 50 hours per year of continuing education in order to keep their licenses. 99% of the continuing education work comes in the form of in-services where each nursing assistant must independently take exams on specifically assigned topics or attend meetings on various areas of their job. For most continuing education classes, there are no specific time limits on how long it can take to complete the work. Some can take hours while others can take months. If someone is taking classes for reasons of personal enrichment, no certification is given since the class or classes are not part of the standard system of education. All programs for continuing education require registration. Without this, the training will not be considered formal.

When it comes to some careers like health care workers, continuing education is mandatory to keep licensure. The law states that a certain people must keep up with the developments in their field so they can give the best possible patient care and treatment possible. Since the market for medical personnel is so staunch, those who do not need to take continuing education classes still do so to stay as competitive as they possibly can. There are several critics to mandatory continuing education because they say that it is becoming too easy to pass the classes and it is unlikely that the people are actually absorbing what is being taught.

Some businesses will pay their employees’ continuing education fees as an extra insensitive to getting them completed. Some will even allow employees to take their course during working hours so as not to have to sacrifice their personal time. Aside from this being convenient, it is also a way to really encourage people to get the credits that they need to stay on top of their field.

Overall, continuing education is something that can be extremely fulfilling. It can further your career and cater to new or existing hobbies that are life enhancers. Without continuing education, many people would have a hard time getting and/or keeping their jobs since there are so many qualified people in the job market that have more skills than those who have had no continuing education. Remember that learning is a lifelong experience that should never cease.


Simon Johnson enjoys sharing his great tips about continuing education (interesting to know is that the Danish term is efteruddannelse) in various blogs online, Currently, he works as a consultant for a Danish company called Attractor.


Author: Editor

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