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Tuesday 11 December 2018
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Growing Demand for Continuing Education Online

Colleges, Universities And Online Communities Offer Programs to Meet Education Needs. Continuing education programs abound for adults who are lifelong learners or do not want to give up full time employment to continue their education.

Nowadays adults looking to improve or strengthen their skills and educational background are enrolling in continuing education and skill improvement programs in greater numbers stated the University Continuing Education Association (InFocus, July 2008). To meet this growing demand, colleges and universities are developing an increased number of continuing education programs. These programs are offered through traditional classroom attendance and online distance learning venues.

One reason is the trend for an increased number of adults, who graduated from college or high school and entered the work force immediately after graduation, now enrolling in continuing education programs. This trend has resulted in certificate degrees, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, and advanced degrees becoming part time programs. Young adults are often unwilling to give up full time employment and enroll in full time education programs. Additionally, these same young adults find that many employers often offer education assistance for completing continuing education programs related to their career field.

For adults who are considering enrolling in continuing education but so busy with life that can’t even afford part time education, there are platforms like Skillshare that can help improve skills and catch up on the latest developments in their field without breaking the bank. The full review of Skillshare cons and pros here.

A second reason for the increased number of continuing education programs being offered is a result of the more baby boomers reaching retirement age. Many of these baby boomers desire to enroll in continuing education programs to seek education qualifications for a second career or gain knowledge of new and different areas interest related to new hobbies or volunteer programs as lifelong learners.

Continuing Education Programs Meeting Growing Demand
Continuing education programs are offered by a most colleges and universities today to meet the growing demand. Here are a few sample programs designed to meet the needs of adults seeking continuing education:

New York University offers a 42 credit master’s program through both on-campus and online courses to accommodate the work and travel schedules of adults, most of whom work in human resources full time.

The George Washington University’s Professional Master’s Degree in Molecular Biotechnology is part of a growing trend in Master of Science programs. The degree allows students to pursue advanced training in science while developing workplace skills valued by employers. This type of master’s degree is not a stepping-stone to a Ph.D., rather it has been designed to meet a specific needs highlighted by the National Research Council in their report, “Science Professionals: Master’s Education for a Competitive World” (July 2008).

The College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a Master of Education in Educational Policy Studies with an emphasis on teaching critical thinking skills. The degree is designed for teachers returning for professional development and advanced degrees; however, the courses are open to other students as well. The program offers courses both on-campus and online.

Evaluating Continuing Education Programs
Adults going back to school need to take full advantage of learning environments which boost career options. Meeting current or future employer expectations is critical for improving and strengthening an education foundation. How to Evaluate Continuing Education Programs offers suggestions for questioning specific characteristics of continuing education programs when evaluating a program.

There is a growing demand for continuing education for adults of all ages and reasons for enrolling in these programs. Whatever your reason: strengthening job skills, entering a new career field, or just seeking information as a lifelong learner; there are an abundant supply of continuing education programs to meet your needs.