Continuing education seminars are short-term educational experiences designed to provide ongoing, career-oriented education to professionals and tradespeople. Classroom-based courses, weekend workshops, and online seminars, also known as webinars, are all examples of continuing education seminar formats. The subject matter presented, as well as professional and licensing requirements established professional associations and government agencies, influence the content, length, and delivery method of continuing education.
In some trades and professions, continuing education courses are not required to maintain certification, organizational membership, or employment. Many people require skill updates and expansion, which can be accomplished through continuing education seminars. Some seminars are offered as part of the general program at trade and professional association meetings and conventions. Other continuing education seminars are sponsored vendors who serve a specific industry and can be held as stand-alone classes or corporate presentations, or at an industry function. Even some schools and businesses specialize in continuing education and do not provide other types of education or training.
Along with their other educational offerings, some colleges, universities, and trade schools offer continuing education seminars and courses. Their continuing education classes can be short seminars or full-day classes, or they can be held in a more traditional academic setting. Some classes may be offered for both academic and continuing education credit, with each student choosing which type of credit he wants prior to enrolling. Online or phone-based classes are another trend in continuing education. Students can participate in online continuing education seminars via live webcasts or conference calls. Participants may be required to complete an online test or submit an essay after listening to the seminar in order to receive continuing education credit.
There is little regulation of continuing education and the entities that provide it in some jurisdictions. As a result, some continuing education seminars may not provide any real benefit to those who attend. Some product vendors’ continuing education programs, for example, may be nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches. Other continuing education seminars may not be recognized professional or licensing organizations, rendering them useless for credentialing and employment purposes. Individuals interested in participating in continuing education seminars should make sure that the licensing board, employer, or organization that requires them has approved them.