Continuing Education Choices

What is continuing education? It is usually defined as courses that are taken after a degree or without the purpose of receiving a degree. But the best way to describe continuing education is to give examples of what it is and is not. Here are some examples to help make the continuing education picture a little clearer:

Community education courses: Often cities or counties will offer adult education courses that teach things like art, basic computer skills, and even language courses. These classes usually do not meet more than a few weeks, but you can often take a series of courses that build on each other. The instructors of community continuing education courses are usually people from the community who have a particular area of expertise or professional knowledge to share. These courses are usually not very expensive. GED courses and ESL courses are not included in this group.

Colleges and Universities: Although you may not think of these places for non-degree courses, many colleges and universities do offer continuing education courses to update graduates’ professional knowledge or just for personal growth. Some courses can even include both degree and non-degree seeking students in the same class. To find out about these courses you should contact the school’s continuing education department directly or online. Usually you will have to pay a reduced tuition for the course.

Professional Groups and Organizations: If you belong to a professional organization which requires you to update your training and skills, they will often offer workshops, conferences, and other training opportunities for their members and this is considered continuing education.

Personal Development: Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have things about us that we may not like. Whether we want to improve our communication skills, our memory, our relationship skills, or negotiating skills, or any other area of our lives we may at one time or another seek outside help. If you are interested in this type of self-improvement you can find courses online or in your community and even at some colleges to help you. Know that you will need to plan out your course of action and follow it.

It does not matter if your search for more education is for personal or professional reasons, the fact is that there are resources out there to help you. Whether you go online, or to your community center, to your professional peers, or to a college or university, more knowledge is more power.