What is Continuing Education?

Continuing education is a phrase that denotes different categories of learning. It may refer to the series of classes taken by adult students, normally to carry on from where they left off. Under this category fall all classes at any level for as long as it is an adult pursuing it. It may be in the primary level, the secondary level or post-secondary level.


There are varying reasons for why an adult may want to go back to school long after he or she is in the regular school age. He may have had to quit school for lack of resources to pursue it and now that the resources allow, he decides to go back. There have been the issues of schoolchildren getting involved in early pregnancies, and make up their minds to leave school to attend to the family. When their kids have grown up, the adult parent who in the past had to stop going to school to take care of them may find himself or herself wanting to go back to take care of his or her own intellectual state.


Continuing education may also refer to the pursuit of even higher levels of learning past the secondary school. The phrase may be used to describe enrolling in a college or university to get an associate or a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a doctorate degree or a vocational and technical certification.


Another kind of education that continuing education may refer to is the one engaged in by those who are practicing their professions. This kind of education may be required by some associations or opted in by the professionals themselves to keep them abreast with the latest developments in their field of specialization. Hence, doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and teachers, among many other professionals, may be required or may want to enroll in several courses to refresh their memories or to extend their knowledge of their profession. Their path to further learning may be undertaken in the forms of seminars, workshops, conferences, and in this Internet world, even online or home courses.


There are several companies that also provide this kind of education to their employees in the form of on-site trainings. Aside from these trainings, many employers are willing to shoulder the cost of sending their employees to school to update their skills. Employees who are given this privilege are usually required by the employers to stay with the company for a certain number of years, depending on how long the schooling took, or, if he decides to leave before the agreed upon period of stay in the company is over, to reimburse the employer for the amount the latter spent in sending the employee to school.


Obviously, whichever of the above categories a student belongs in, going back to school or staying in school has a lot of advantages. For one, it keeps him or her aware of the developments in his field. It also allows a person to pursue a dream that may have been kept out of his reach in the past. Lastly, it gives an individual a sense of self, knowing that he is doing something to be a better human being.


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