Local continuing education, once considered optional, is becoming a necessity in todays rapidly changing society. As our world becomes a global neighborhood, the need for additional education and training grows exponentially. The need for continuing education has led to increased enrollment in learning institutions offering these courses. The term continuing education encompasses a great many types of studies and training courses. It usually refers to secondary learning courses, but is also used when referring to lifelong or self-directed learning, pursuing a college or university degree after entering the job force, and the education for meeting licensing and re-licensing requirements in various professional positions, such as doctors, nurses and teachers. Local continuing education courses are offered in a variety of ways. Gone is the need to attend a secondary-educational institution to receive these lessons. These courses are available on and off-campus, as extension courses, seminars and workshops. Many courses are available online, some are self-directed, others are structured, some require minimal on-campus hours, and still others are completely taught as hands-on training courses that require real time participation. Frequently, continuing education and training are required in many business positions. With the amount of empty positions gradually shrinking, many employers hire people based, in part, on not only the education they've received, but the attendance of courses that provided the possible employee with knowledge that can specifically benefit said employer. Employers also consider local continuing education courses, attended by their current employees, when deciding on pay scales and raises, as well as promotions and advancements.