What Is Continuing Education? [Guide for 2024]


Education is a basic human right and there are many ways you can pursue it even if you have a gap in your education history.

In this article, we will discuss what is continuing education along with its various types. In the end, you will be able to make a wise decision about your education.

What Is Continuing Education?

Continuing education is a broad term that refers to pursuing some form of higher education like post-secondary or university-level education after a gap. You can either choose university-based continuing education or choose to study from education institutes that are set up for this specific purpose.

These programs were formed because some job positions require individuals to have a certain degree. Not everyone can leave their jobs and get the proper education. Continuing education allows adults to get their degrees without having to attend classroom lectures. It gives them the flexibility to work as well as pursue their degree. You will still have to appear for exams though and will only get your degree or certificate if you pass.

DID YOU KNOW: The curriculum for degree programs in continuing education is designed with the industry’s needs in mind.

Types of Continuing Education

Now that we’ve discussed the meaning of continuing education, let’s look at its different types:

Post-Secondary Degree Programs

Many people pursue post-secondary learning activities and programs as a form of continuing education. Any educational degree after high school is referred to as a post-secondary degree. This includes associate’s degrees, master’s degrees, and other degree credit courses. You can benefit from college remediation to prepare you for higher education.

Professional Certificate

Apart from a degree program, you can also pursue professional certifications that can help you learn a particular skill that is required for your job. Certificate courses are often offered in online mode. Some of the popular certificate courses include accounting courses, graphic design courses, real estate courses, etc.

Independent Study

Continuing education also includes various independent study programs. In this type of continuing education program, you work closely with a professor or other academic professional. These courses are designed to fit your specific learning activity and educational goals.

Professional Events

If you’re already working in an organization, you’ve probably attended workshops, seminars, or conferences. They encourage professionals to stay up-to-date on new developments in their industry. Conference and seminar attendance also improves networking and communication skills.


Continuing education opportunities also include volunteering. You can look for volunteering opportunities related to the industry you’re working in. It will help you connect better with the community, as well as understand the problems that your industry is facing. Many companies also prefer people with volunteering experience in their resumes.

On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training or workforce training is usually provided by your employer. It is a non-degree career training that aims to make you more equipped for the job that you will be performing. It does not require any college or university coursework.

Language Learning

Further education courses can also involve learning a new language. Knowing different languages is a skill that is valued in almost every industry. It is also helpful if you wish to move to a new country as many countries require you to know their language before granting you permission to work there.

Online Courses

Online courses are a boon for people who cannot attend regular college. You can learn a variety of various skills through an online course, from data entry to plumbing.

Professional License Renewal

If you work in a professional field, continuing professional education involves renewing your license. In most cases, it involves getting CE credits, training, attending classes, and passing an examination. It is also compulsory if you wish to continue practicing a particular profession like medicine or law.


Lastly, if you wish to work in academia or be associated with an academic enterprise, pursuing research may prove to be very useful. You can choose a topic related to your academic subjects and later publish a research paper. It can help you improve your career credentials as well as help you gain more knowledge about that particular subject.

DID YOU KNOW: Continuing education looks well on your resume and you must add it. If you’re unsure how to do that, there are several resume writing services that can help you build the perfect resume.

Key Takeaways

Continuing learning and getting further education is suitable for people who have an education gap or are already employed.
There are various kinds of continuing education like post-secondary degree programs, language learning, professional events, etc.
Some other types include research, license renewal, professional certificates, and independent study.
Most of these courses have only one-time classes or no classes at all. These courses cater to working individuals’ needs.

Why Is Continuing Education Important?

Continuing education is an important form of adult education. Here are a few additional benefits of continuing education studies:

Increases Your Knowledge

It is important to keep learning throughout your life. Continuing education provides this opportunity to adults who might be reluctant to pursue full-time education as most of these programs do not require attendance at conferences or lectures and are also offered at very affordable costs.

Increases Your Income

There is a very high chance that your income will increase after pursuing continuing education. Courses and degree programs make you qualified for higher-level jobs as many job positions require higher formal education.

Personal Development

General continuing education and formal personal enrichment courses can help you in your personal growth. They can make you more confident, improve your communication skills, and make you more informed about your industry.

DID YOU KNOW: As per a survey, 1 in every 3 employees cites boredom as a reason for quitting their job. That’s why continuing education must also be encouraged by companies.

Who Can Benefit Most From Continuing Education?

While everyone can become a continuing education student, here are some of the top professions that require continuing education:


Teachers are responsible for imparting knowledge to the younger generations. While they may have great foundations of knowledge, it is important to keep learning so that their students can also learn more. There are several extension courses available for teachers nowadays.


Lawyers are mandated to pursue continuing education as per the American Bar Association. It is compulsory for them to pursue continuing legal education in order to renew their license from time to time. They are also charged a fine if they fail to comply.


Just like lawyers, accountants are also required to pursue continuing education. They can enroll in a university extension program or extension school to pursue further education. It helps them stay up-to-date with the changing accounting methods and laws.


Doctors also need to continuously update their knowledge to remain skilled in their field. Continuing education and training can help them keep in tune with the technological advancements happening in their field.

DID YOU KNOW: If you need student help, Chegg is a trustworthy site for students, including students enrolled in continuing education programs. You can read the full review of Chegg here.


Continuing education refers to pursuing some form of higher education after a gap. It helps working adults pursue courses at a minimal cost, without attending regular classes. Some kinds of continuing education include professional certificates, independent study, research, etc. These courses help you become more educated, feel more confident, and improve your chances of excelling in your career.


How to get certified to offer continuing education credits?

To get certified, the provider must be approved by the Continuing Education Committee and meet the relevant requirements.

What are the benefits of continuing education?

If you know what is continuing education, you must be aware of its several benefits. Some of them are the possibility of studying remotely without attending classes and the advancement in educational qualifications.



I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."

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