InStride celebrates five years of growth, innovation and social impactRead More


July 15th, 2022 · 5 min read

Training vs. education: Which is right for your workforce?

training vs education blog header

Understanding training in the workplace

  • Often specific to an organization or job
    Training can be used to get groups of individuals on the same page, ensuring employees are abiding by specific company or industry standards. For example, many IT departments administer company-wide cybersecurity training to ensure that employees are well-versed on how to address cybersecurity threats.
  • Training encourages consistency of service or approach
    When employees are trained with the same guidelines and instructions, everyone develops a baseline understanding of how things should work. This keeps business operations running smoothly and consistently.
  • Typically short-term and laser-focused on a specific topic or skill
    While it’s possible that you have a long-term training plan in place, the individual training sessions themselves usually take a shorter, set amount of time.For instance, when a person joins a company, their onboarding training can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the position and their level of experience. Having standalone training periods like this allow you to “plug-and-play” training as it’s needed throughout the employee lifecycle. 
  • Encourages rapid skills development
    High-quality training allows you to fast-track skill building and increase productivity. This is especially useful when rolling out a new process or technology that requires employees to get up-to-speed quickly.

upskilling CTA banner

How education differs from training

Characteristics of workforce education

  • Teaches critical thinking
    Instead of learning the specific details of completing a task, education aims to show the individual how to figure it out on their own. This is not always specific to a job. Education encourages learners to draw conclusions and solve problems by asking questions and pursuing multiple paths of thinking.

    This is particularly beneficial for individuals who strive for a career — one that comes with opportunities for advancement and leadership development.
  • Typically takes a longer time
    Degrees and other types of learning credentials take time for a reason. It can take months or years to become adequately educated on a subject. However, unlike traditional full-time students, adult learners are in a unique position that allows them to take what they learn and apply it on the job almost immediately.
  • Theoretical, yet vital
    Whether through a college degree, short-form certification or other learning credentials, education surrounds employees with ideas and then asks them to be curious. It’s this kind of curiosity that sparks creativity and innovation — benefitting both the employee and ultimately, your business. 

Training vs. education: Why both are necessary for your workforce

You can address talent development challenges