Off-the-Job Methods of Training


Depending on the skill you want to develop or the job you want to learn, you have several options to get training off-the-job. Some methods are more traditional, and some are more innovative. Consult a career counselor at your local workforce training center to learn more about the best way to be trained.

Lectures and Practice

Employers may offer training you can complete while you are not actually working at your job. This type of training may include classroom sessions with lectures, films, presentations, simulations and role plays. You will learn more about topics related to your job in these sessions. They aim to round out your knowledge of your job, industry and the organization for which you work.


Community and career colleges offer one way to be trained away from the worksite. You will get practical experience in a work-like setting in most programs. The programs can be completed in a year or two in many cases. Online training programs are also available. Traditional universities offer training programs in almost any field imaginable, and their programs can take four or more years to complete, depending on the degree you seek. Certification and diploma programs are also available at universities.


As a volunteer in a nonprofit organization, you can get training in any number of areas. People may not immediately consider volunteering if they want to develop a particular skill. If you want to get training to be a call center representative, you can learn how to call strangers and ask them questions by volunteering to do a phone survey of an organization’s volunteers. You could learn how to handle a reception desk by volunteering in a nonprofit office a few times a month as well.


As an intern, you will likely be doing grunt work like making copies, but you will also be learning technical skills related to the career or job you want. Your internship’s supervisor or mentor can give you inside information about how to best navigate the career path you want to pursue and about the industry or company with which you intern. Even if a company or organization does not offer a traditional internship program, you may be able to design your own if you approach a company or organization directly with a plan for your internship.

Other Options

If you need to learn a specific skill, such as how to use spreadsheets, you can contact your local library to ask if it offers tutorials or training in spreadsheets. Many tutorials can be done on your own in the computer lab. Your local workforce center may also offer specific skill trainings. Contact other community organizations that provide job training as well, such as your local adult education center or adult education nonprofit organizations. Your state’s department of labor and your local government may also offer training programs.

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