Aside from the personal reasons people may take continuing education courses, some industries require certain types of workers to participate in continuing education courses as a condition of licensure. This includes professionals in a wide range of health care, business, insurance and professional careers. In some cases, continuing education courses are a good way for employees to stay on top of regulatory changes within their industry and become aware of new technologies.
Skills typically learned in online continuing education courses?
There are continuing education courses in nearly any topic in any industry. Courses vary from school to school, but can include subjects of study such as business and finance, media and design, information technology, software development and paralegal studies.
A number of institutions divide their continuing education courses into various categories based on objective. The categories vary from school to school, but typically include the following:
- Professional Development: Courses that focus on professional skills like project management and entrepreneurship
- Personal Enrichment/Personal Development: Courses that don't have an explicit professional application and instead focus on hobbies and passions
In some cases, professionals who've already begun a career choose to pursue an online certificate in a field related to their profession. In other cases some might sign up for continuing education courses in order to learn a new skill or expand their base of knowledge.
Applying continuing education skills in the workplace
Continuing education courses may expose working adults to the newest ideas within their industry, and can even introduce them to new techniques or skills. Becoming a lifelong learner has potential work benefits as well, as skills learned in professional development - budgeting, complex problem solving and decision making to name a few - are cited as important traits for chief executives by O*NET OnLine.
"WYU Continuing & Professional Education Course Catalog," West Virginia University, July 25, 2014, http://continuinged.wvu.edu/catalog/
"Emory Continuing Education," Emory University, July 25, 2014, http://ece.emory.edu/alpharetta/
"Continuing Education," Florida State College, July 25, 2014, https://www.fscj.edu/continuing-education/
"Continuing Education Courses - SHSU Online," Sam Houston State University, July 25, 2014, http://distance.shsu.edu/continuing-education/courses.html
"11-1011.00 Chief Executives," O*NET OnLine, July 25, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/11-1011.00