Continuing education refers to any formal training classes beyond high school that are taken for personal or professional purposes. Anyone can take continuing education classes, though they are aimed more toward working adults who already have a college degree. Continuing education classes are commonly held at community colleges or vocational schools and may include workshops, labs, seminars, online courses, and independent study courses. Unlike college courses, continuing education courses can be any format or length. Some accelerated classes may take only several hours or a couple of days, while others may span weeks or months, depending on the intensity. In any case, the classes are arranged around the schedule of a working professional, so classes usually are part time and held in the evenings, on weekends, or online so that students can learn at home at their own pace.
- Many art careers require continuing education for the employees. This is especially common in technological or medical careers, such as web designer, doctor, or dentist, where modern developments are always occurring.
- Continuing education is required in some fields in order to receive and maintain a license. Even in cases where continuing education is not required, many people take classes anyway to improve their skills and add experience to their resume. Some even take classes because they enjoy learning new things or have an interest in a particular subject, even if they do not necessarily want to pursue it as a career.
- For those looking to take on new responsibilities and challenges in the workplace, or looking for a new career altogether, continuing education can help students meet their professional goals. This experience can help professionals advance to higher-level positions and stand out from other highly qualified applicants.
Those in art careers are examples of professionals who may be required to participate in continuing education classes. Continuing education is a great way to hone old skills and learn new ones. Those who work in photography or computer art, such as animation, web design, graphic design, or digital media, should regularly take classes after completing their degree program so that they can stay current with technology. Computer programs are always changing and updating, so the software a student learned and used several years earlier may already be outdated. The same situation applies to fine artists. Art trends and techniques are always changing, so continuing education classes can help artists get up to speed with current trends. Being well trained and up to date with current trends can help artists succeed in the competitive art field.