Types of Continuing Education
Many folks think that they are done learning the moment they graduate from graduate school; however, in many instances, this is not necessarily true. Depending on your particular field and/or licensure associated with your degree, you might be required to take continuing education courses. Even if you are not required to take continuing education, you could still benefit from taking certain types of continuing education courses on your own. The benefits of taking continuing education courses might include the following: obtaining specialized knowledge, earning certifications, and keeping what you learned in grad school fresh in your mind, all of which might make you more marketable to potential employers.
As you probably experienced at the beginning of your career as a graduate student,
you will be ahead of the game in continuing education if you begin early. Before you even graduate, you should ask your professors and advisors about associations or memberships that are prestigious in your field of study. Consider giving a lecture concerning your specific area of expertise at a broad convention of colleagues. Remember, continuing education does not simply mean that you are attending more courses and gaining more education; continuing education is also about widening your contacts and getting your name out there in terms of your personal brand.
There are many types of continuing education courses, and the types vary greatly by field; however, there are some common formats of continuing education that are pretty standard across different fields. For example, you can typically earn continuing education credits by attending certain workshops or talks at conferences for professional organization. Typically, the cost of attending conferences is fairly reasonable; however, you will also want to factor in the cost of travel and other costs associated with attending conferences. Continuing education at conferences may be more beneficial than some other forms of continuing education because continuing education at conferences allows you a greater opportunity to network.
In addition to attending professional conferences, you could also take some types of continuing education courses at universities. Like continuing education at conferences, continuing education at universities is also typically in the form of workshops. In addition to continuing education at conferences and universities, you can also find books and other training materials that you can use you to continue your education; some books and other training materials may require an examination after you complete the training materials. More recently, there has been an increase in the number and availability of online courses. The advantage of online courses for continuing education is that online courses can be completed as your schedule allows.