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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.

An example of this is learning philosophy which promotes deep thinking, but is not a discipline which is likely to be applicable in a non-academic work environment.


Development is the realization of potential where education and training will have been the instrumental roles in the development, so becoming fully-developed in a particular discipline is a goal that many of us strive for throughout the course of our lives. This starts with our parents and progresses through schooling and onto further education for many of us.

Training and education are means towards achieving the goal and these achievements which result from education and training are thought of as being measures of how much one has developed. At the same time, the more developed an individual becomes, the higher the level of education or training he or she may receive. This we measure with recognised certification or qualifications.

Why Is Career Development Important?

Career development is a term used for the methods an individual uses to advance in a job or career. Included in career development are one's educational qualifications, skill sets acquired, self-actualization or personal fulfilment, and recognitions and acknowledgments gained over a period of time.

It is true to say that a career-development path or plan is no longer the structured, fairly sequential, 20- to 30-year road map that prevailed in earlier generations, however, career development is as important today as it has ever been.

Setting Goals

Goal setting centred on career objectives and milestones is an important part of career development, but tends to be on a more short- and medium-term basis than in the past mainly because people tend to shift jobs and careers more frequently than they used to. Still by using goal setting as part of your career-development plan, you are more likely to end up with the career you desire rather than the job you are lucky to have.

Designing Your Own Development

Career development today is shaped more by an individual's choice and focus as opposed to being under the direction of a human resources department or a boss who wants employees to have a particular set of skills, so it stands to reason that if you have more control over your own career development, you can tailor your progress toward your own goals, rather than the goals of a boss or a particular company.

Keeping Flexible

A career-development plan has to be flexible to account for emergency scenarios, mid-career switches, resignations, relocation possibilities and family commitments. Such flexibility in your career development can work to your advantage, by increasing the possibilities for your potential work life.

Staying Competitive

Career development in a highly competitive era calls for sharp-edged focus and dedication, so it transpires naturally that the new skills you gain and the additional certifications and diplomas you earn will help you to be competitive in today's workplace.

Demonstrating Professionalism and Desire

Being involved in an active career-development plan shows that you are interested in advancing your own knowledge, skill set and capabilities where a demonstrated desire for improvement and education makes you more attractive to potential employers and this is where we at the Proessional Bodyguard Association can help you build the Tactical Knowledge & Mastery for the skills of your choice.

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