Why Continuing Education Is Important

student in an online continuing education course sitting at a table with a notebook and mug while smiling and looking at a laptop computer
Category: Value of Education

By Matt Rowley
Posted on

In a competitive job market, continuing education is a way to ensure your skillset remains valuable to employers. It can help you stay updated about current trends in your industry, and it's a great way to develop professionally and get ahead in your field.

Additionally, some positions – such as those in emergency medical services – have continuing education requirements to remain active in the profession.

In this article, we explore the value of continuing education.

What Is Continuing Education?

Continuing education is typically defined as a type of professional development in which students who have already completed a degree program return to a school setting for additional learning. Continuing education courses can be designed for students who work in specific industries, or they can also focus on skills or technologies that are helpful across all career fields.

Continuing education programs are offered in a variety of in-person, online or hybrid settings. Students typically earn a certain number of continuing education units – or CEUs – after completing a course.

Related: The Difference Between Continuing Education and Professional Development

What Is the Importance of Continuing Education?

Why is continuing education important? In this section, we explore some of the many benefits of continuing education for working professionals.

A Competitive Edge

When applying for jobs, including your continuing education courses on your resume can give you a competitive edge over other candidates. This information shows employers you're dedicated to professional development and motivated to continue learning and growing.

Career Advancement

Your quest for continuing education can help you advance your career. If your manager sees you're investing time and money into bettering yourself professionally, that may tip the scales in your favor when the times comes for a potential promotion or salary increase.

For example, here at Columbia Southern University, law enforcement officers can broaden their knowledge with continuing education courses in topics such as human trafficking or forensic investigation.

Career Changes

If you're thinking about embarking on a new career path, continuing education can help you meet the qualifications for the job. And if you already have a degree, you may not need a second bachelor’s or a graduate degree to make that change. Depending on your industry, continuing education courses – or in some cases, a certificate program – may be enough for your potential new employer.

Confidence Building

The more knowledge and skill you have in your industry, the more confident you’ll be in your work. For this reason, continuing education can help you master new skills and concepts and give your confidence a boost. Confidence in the workplace can help you communicate better, take feedback well, deal with conflict, and become a manager or leader.

Personal Development

Learning is lifelong and can help you grow as an individual, not just as an employee. You might pursue continuing education to learn about something you've always been interested in or to develop skills you've always wanted to master. Continuing education can also help you mature, discover new talents and passions, or gain a new perspective on your life and career.


As you develop your professional development plan, if decide that pursuing continuing education is a good fit for you, check out the courses available here at Columbia Southern University. For detailed info about our CE courses in criminal justice, information technology, safety and more, visit our Continuing Education website.

To learn more about all our online degree programs at CSU, visit our website.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.

CSU continuing education programs are not eligible for Federal Student Aid, military tuition assistance, VA funding or Learning Partner discounts.