Training versus Education

In basic terms, training and education differ in one, generally accepted respect:  training tends to go to the acquisition of a specific kind of knowledge, and education is viewed as a larger arena.  The difference relies on the context used, to an extent. More exactly, in a variety of specific fields, the two terms are used synonymously.  Nonetheless, even this illustrates the difference, simply because it is something of a misuse of the word, “education.” To be trained is to learn a skill, way of thinking, and mental or physical process that is established as valid.  It is taking in of a practice that is inherently confined, and taken in because it is seen as beneficial or necessary. Education is a far more expansive concept because it implies a kind of cooperative effort: “Education is the initiation into worthwhile activities….knowing, understanding, appreciating, imagining, and doing”  (Natale, Fenton 326). The key word here is “initiation,” because this affirms how a student must be a part of the educational process itself. The root of “education” translates, in fact, to “leading out.” It is the means by which an instruction and a student come together to create new discovery, even as established knowledge is attained.  With training, the emphasis is based typically and solely on a direct acquisition.

This being the case, a good deal of personal responsibility is involved in how a person seeks to be educated, certainly when that person is old enough to make such determinations.  This centers on a question each individual must ask: what is it I want in being educated? (Boles 123). If the question appears broad, it is nonetheless critical because it brings into play all the elements going to the successful education.  First of all, it presents an option in routes because the honest answer takes into account, not only the person’s educational ambitions but their own potentials and inclinations. More exactly, the person answering the question will not assert that they want the education to be completely educated in all the sciences and arts because the honest asking must rely on an equally honest idea of what is possible.  This then promotes a better defining, or narrowing, of the possible routes. The individual may, for example, realize that the sciences hold the greater interest for them, and should be the focus of the effort. This known, new variables come into play and the person determines exactly what sciences are most likely to be interesting and/or useful in learning. At the same time, the process then is affected by pragmatic concerns, such as what schools and courses will best enable this pursuit.

Interestingly, it is not education in itself that distinguishes the educated person.  This is due to that aspect of “leading out” mentioned, for the educated person is known more by their tendencies to perceive than by any actual foundation of knowledge.  The latter element is important, of course; many educated people are defined as such merely by the level of actual attainment they have achieved. Nonetheless, the better means of identifying the educated person is that which finds an “openness” in viewpoint.  Ironically, the most distinguishing thing about an educated person is their willingness to be educated, always. In modern thinking, education is no longer perceived as an occurrence in youth but as a process stretching through the lifetime (Yang, Chang 332). Within this process there must be an exponential kind of development, refining the education as it goes along.  For example, an initial stage or background of education informs the person more clearly of what their greater interests and abilities are, and this guides to direction and subject matter. No one, essentially, should pursue a certain kind of knowledge if there is no reason to believe that the knowledge will be retained, be of use, or be of interest to the person. This assertion, of course, accepts that basic learning is critical for all within a society.  Everyone should be encouraged to develop basic literacy skills, for instance, and have some grounding in the basics of the sciences. Beyond that, however, the individual, society, and education itself are all better served when the person pursues the education matching their abilities and inclinations. The value of education is then fully realized because it depends upon personal development. Education, in any real form, enables. It creates intellectual, creative, and material opportunities based on the individual’s efforts and ambitions, so the value goes precisely to that original definition: a “leading out.”

    In regard to information systems, it is obvious that learning must take the form of some training, and in specific regard to the mechanics of the subject.  These mechanics continually evolve but, just as the student of literature must have a grounding in the classics, so too must the individual here have knowledge of the basics of such systems.  These include database centers, database systems, and all forms of telecommunications networks, such as the Internet, extranets, and intranets. As an intranet system is a variation, or application, of Internet technology (Stair, Reynolds  203). Not unexpectedly, all of these components are interrelated, and education in information systems demands a relatively strong knowledge of all. In this field, again, actual training is the education demanded, at least to an extent. Put another way, the individual lacking in this training is of little good to the field, no matter the level of interest.

    This is certainly the type of educational background I would personally insist upon in hiring an individual to do information systems tasks.  It would be, in fact, absolutely requisite. I would need to be confident that the person is well-versed in all data transfer and storage technologies.  Beyond this, however, I would be equally guided in my hiring by how the person indicates a willingness to entertain new ideas or generate some of their own.  As noted, this is a field constantly evolving. The information systems standard of two years ago no longer applies today, and the individual is of no use to me if they are unwilling to accept this challenging aspect of the field.  What I am saying in this training vs education essay is the fact that my hiring would be influenced by the potential in the person to embrace ongoing education.  As was stated earlier, education is marked by a degree of openness to change and the taking in of new ideas, and this is no minor consideration.  My information systems hire the employees that must be as open to acquiring further education as they must be ready to provide a strong foundation of the basics.

Works Cited

Boles, H. W.  Multidisciplinary Readings in Educational Leadership.  New York: MSS Information Corporation, 1977.  Print.

Natale, S. M., & Fenton, M. B.  Business Education and Training: A Value-Laden Process, Volume 3.  Lanham: University Press of America, 1997.  Print.

Stair, R. M., & Reynolds, G. W.  Fundamentals of Information Systems.  Belmont: Cengage Learning, 2011.  Print.

Yang, J., & Chang, W. P.  Building Education and Research.  New York:  Taylor & Francis, 2012. Print.