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Training, Education & Development - just what is the difference and why should I care?

Accredited training, education, and development can help in the workplace that much we know, and during a person's lifetime, he or she will go through various stages of training, education and development.

A common question with regard to these acts is "how do they differ?"

Well the simple answer is that they all have similarities and are intertwined, so it can be difficult to tell; therefore taking a look at each one individually can help to differentiate and to understand.


Training, education and development all play important roles, respectively, in helping an individual to grow and achieve his or her full potential. These terms are often used in an inexact way, but this should not undermine their importance in a person's life.

Education generally begins at the early stage as we try to understand the world around us. Schooling, widely accepted as formalized education, is vital for future employment in adulthood and by utilizing training and higher education; an employee can potentially advance in his or her career. It is here that we can say that personal development plays an integral role in an employee’s evaluations.


There are different types of training, education and development that many of us will experience throughout our lives beginning with education that takes place via the academic principles where a person can become educated in a variety of areas, such as math, language and science.

Adapting skills would require some types of training and these will include athletic, occupational and military capabilities. People are capable of developing wide array of skills, some physical, some intellectual; others can be emotional and social types of development; all leading to greater personal growth.


Training tends to be job or skill specific. An example of this is driving a car where a new driver will learn in a classroom, which is education on the rules of the road, but actually getting behind the wheel constitutes training. For many activities, such as driving, surgery or throwing a football, actually performing the specific task repeatedly helps an individual to learn and to improve.

Besides being specific to a particular job, training is also more likely to be a physical endeavour than education. Training entails the practical application of education, and thus requires actual movement and motion. For example, a medical student will obtain knowledge from classroom education, but will ultimately receive his training when he is interning at a hospital.

It therefore stands to reason that training should be ongoing to maintain proficiency and prevent skills fade, so it is somewhat surprising when we see so many people fail to grasp this concept. If you like, practice makes perfect!


Most of the time, education takes place in a classroom or through reading academic-oriented books. It is the acquisition of knowledge through theoretical means. This type of knowledge may not always be as practical as training, but it does help to develop a person's sense of higher level reasoning and critical thinking skills.