Continuing education can be the key to increasing your opportunities at work and also a way to satisfy licensing requirements. Depending on your chosen career and field, you may need to earn additional education credits on an annual basis.
Continuing education schools have existed since 1907 when the University of Wisconsin at Madison became the first United States institution that offered a continuing education program. One of the criteria that makes schools for continuing education unique is they way in which they deliver their content. For example, continuing education can take place in a traditional classroom, online or using a hybrid model of distance and in person training.
In terms of requirements, many different licensing bodies such as healthcare, real estate or education stipulate that licensees and certificate holders must earn a particular number of continuing education credits to maintain their practicing status. For example, to renew a real estate license some states require upwards of 10 continuing education credits. Some healthcare providers have guidelines for various safety training as part of their certification, or recertification, process.
While some of these requirements may seem high, they are put in place to insure that practitioners maintain a high level of industry knowledge and to stay up to date on emerging trends and innovations. For certain fields there is an ever evolving knowledge base that is in constant flux. Medicine is a prime example. As new treatments and therapies gain acceptance, there is always the need for appropriate training.
In addition to license certification, non traditional learners may use a continuing ed program to attain a new degree or perhaps to finish a previously halted program. These learners can take advantage of in person classes that may occur in the evenings and on weekends. They may also participate in online classes. In terms of online classes, these are evolving to include both self guided training and even collaborative video conferencing classrooms.
Regardless of the intention behind continuing education, there are various ways to complete your training whether you attend classes in person or make use of distance learning opportunities.