What Are Popular Adult Education and Continuing Education Courses?
Learn about adult education and continuing education, and find out what you could study in these types of courses. Get details about some of the most popular and widely available course options.
Adult Education and Continuing Education Overview
As the necessity of a college education becomes more apparent, more people are heading back to school later in life. Adults can choose from many adult and continuing education courses designed for individuals caring for families and managing a career. The most popular types of adult education and continuing education courses include professional skills, healthcare and personal enrichment.
Important Information About This Field of Study
|Prerequisites||Vary by course type: adult education programs may require placement testing; some career training/skills programs may require a high school diploma or equivalent; prior coursework in a related field may be required for advanced courses; enrichment courses typically have no prerequisites|
|Degree and Certificate Levels||Undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree programs are available as adult education or continuing education programs|
|Online Availability||Many courses are fully available online|
|Possible Careers||Courses can lead to careers in a variety of professional fields or even to further education opportunities; careers in education, accounting, real estate, sales, marketing, and the like are possible through continuing education programs|
Degree programs in professional skills are typically offered as certificate programs. These programs allow students to take one year or less to study a field that interests them, developing usable professional skills. Professional skills degrees are typically offered in business fields, and they provide students a leg up to enter or re-enter a career in business or technology.
These continuing education courses are popular because they are easy to take, offer practical information and can be used to find a job or advance within a career. Students can choose to focus in areas such as:
- Finance and accounting
- Administrative professionals
- Computers and technology
- Real estate
- Event planning
- Business management
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry was expected to grow faster than any other industry between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). For professionals in this industry, that means there's a certain degree of job security, and individuals hoping to enter should be able to find a job.
Within the field of healthcare, students can choose from many opportunities and pursue courses in areas that include:
- Medical billing
- Addiction studies and substance abuse
- Medical transcription
- Personal training
- Medical coding
Personal enrichment adult and continuing education courses are often offered as noncredit courses. They allow students to develop a wide range of interests, which are simply for enjoyment and don't lead to a degree program or even a career. However, these are popular adult education courses because classes meet over short blocks of time, often over a few months or only once, for a few hours.
These courses are very diverse and accessible to the everyday person. Because most are not full degree programs, students can pick and choose the courses they want to take or get a sampling of courses they'd like to complete a degree in. Some courses include:
- Wedding planning
- Self defense