How Do Training, Education & Development Differ?


Training, education and development all play important roles, respectively, in helping an individual to grow and achieve his full potential. These terms are often used in an inexact way, but this should not undermine their importance in a person’s life. Education begins at a young age as humans try to understand the world around them. Schooling, which is formalized education, is vital for future employment. By utilizing training and higher education, an employee can potentially advance in his career. Development plays an integral role in employee evaluations.


There are different types of training, education and development people will experience throughout their lives. Education happens via the academic disciplines. A person can become educated in a variety of areas, such as math, language and science. Some types of training include athletic, occupational and military. People are capable of developing in a wide array of areas. Intellectual, emotional and social types of development all lead to greater individual growth.


Training tends to be job or skill specific. An example of this is driving a car. A new driver will learn in a classroom, which is education, 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 it helps an individual to learn and improve.
Besides being specific to a particular job, training is also more likely to be a physical endeavor 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.


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. Philosophy 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. Education and training can play instrumental roles in a person’s development. Becoming fully-developed in a particular discipline is a goal. Training and education are means towards achieving the goal. The 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 may receive.


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