There are many types of professional training, which include high school equivalency, adult basic education, short-term training and college. Other kinds of professional training include certifications, apprenticeships, internships, professional development and licensing. Each type of training opens different doors, and choosing the right course depends on professional goals.
High school equivalency is the broadest and most basic form of professional training available. It is a marker of general knowledge. Individuals earn high school equivalency through the General Educational Development Test, the High School Equivalency Test or the Test Assessing Secondary Completion. For most states, the GED is the preferred equivalency option. The GED typically costs $120, as of 2015. Preparation for the test is freely available through adult basic education courses at public schools, libraries and community organizations.
Higher education offers an industry-focused professional credential. Short-term certificate training of less than two years and college training of two years or more, involve classes which result in a certificate or degree. Free classes and programs are available online through services such as SkilledUp.com or through community workshops. Individuals can earn short term certificates from community colleges or technical schools. College involves a multi-year workload and results in an associates or bachelors degree. Certificates and degrees are credentials which help with getting a job or getting a promotion.
Apprenticeships and internships offer hands-on experience and a path into well-paying jobs. The Registered Apprenticeship Program listed on CareerOneStop.org offers apprenticeships for 1,000 careers including automobile mechanic, construction laborer, electrician and pipefitter. Internships offer short-term jobs that can be paid or unpaid.