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How Online Training is Changing Continuing Education in Licensed Trades - Careers

How Online Training is Changing Continuing Education in Licensed Trades   by Gen Wright

in Careers    (submitted 2009-10-05)

Online Training Fast Facts:

- Continuing Education training is available online for Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC Technicians

- By 2007 almost 4 Million students in the U.S. took some form of online education

- Online learning teaching is self-directed and student-centered

"It used to be that staying certified meant tying up a day or a weekend sitting in a classroom with 30 other bored students. Now we're seeing where Journey Level construction trades people are choosing to complete their State required certification online" says Sandee Olson-Meyer, President of Construction Continuing Education Center of America.

Academic Institutions have seen a rise in the popularity of online training for years. In 2003, 57% of Academic Officers rated online education equal to or superior to that of face-to-face instruction. That number rose to 62% by 2006.

Recently an increasing number of trades professionals are taking advantage of online training options to complete their State Continuing Education (CEU) requirements.

With traditional classroom continuing education, participants were tied to a set schedule. One course could take up an entire weekend that could have otherwise been spent with family or other recreational pursuits. An 8 hour course in a classroom must be completed consecutively. With Online continuing education, course materials are accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week; participants can do a little bit at a time in the evenings or whenever is convenient for them.

"Continuing education is a State required necessity for working trade professionals" says Olsen-Meyer. "Online courses allow working adults to manage their time and balance work, family and other responsibilities with their certification requirements."

Individuals who have taken online continuing education enjoy the flexibility and freedom that online training allows them. "I don't have time to run my business and still have the opportunity to attend classes" says Dan G. of Spokane Washington. Ron T. of Maple Valley adds "I appreciate the ability to take the classes at night and still be a Dad around the house."

In addition to scheduling flexibility, students enjoy the mobility that online training allows them. A computer and Internet connection is all that's required to complete online courses, so with a laptop and mobile Internet students can complete their certification at home, work or the internet café!.

"We recently had a student write to us that he completed his Electrical Basics course in an airport while waiting for his flight" says Olson-Meyer. "It's amazing to think as recently as 5 years ago we wouldn't have imagined something like that would be possible."