What is Short-Term Training?

woman standing by open door in front of classroom

What is Short-Term Training?

There are many types of short-term training. Short-term training provides an opportunity to develop or expand a specific skill to grow employment connections. Or it can be a collection of skills and knowledge to support a new career.

Short-term training programs frequently adjust to the changing demands of the job market. This means that classes are updated often.

How Long Does Training Take?

Short-term training takes one year or less. Classes to build a specific skill may occur once or twice per week for a limited period of time. Comprehensive certificate and diploma programs are full-time for a few weeks or months. Even full-time training has flexible schedules for you to manage work and family while gaining new skills.

Minnesota offers many types of short-term training. The information below will help you identify which type is right for you.

Credit-Based Certificate and Diploma Programs

Industry Certifications

  • What is this? Certifications are often offered by national or regional organizations that specialize in particular fields or technologies. Some occupations may require a license or registry.  
  • Who can take this training? Everyone 16 and older. Some occupations may have specific eligibility requirements, including a background check. 
  • Why this training? • Flexible scheduling options – many classes are “open enrollment” throughout the year. • Depending upon the certification, you may not need a high school diploma to enroll.  • Demonstrates to an employer you have the skills needed for a job.  • Use to advance your career. • Part of your education• May qualify for specific financial support.
  • How do I find this training? Minnesota State Workforce Solutions offers many non-credit courses that train for industry certifications.  You may need to take a test as part of the course or after completion of the course to receive certification or a license.

Certificates (Non-credit)

  • What is this? A series of courses for a specific set of skills. It often applies to one or more industries.
  • Who can take this training? Everyone 16 and older. Anyone seeking employment or career advancement. 
  • Why this training? • Focused on a specific set of skills or training. • Often do not require a formal industry test but may require demonstration of skill growth. • Flexible scheduling options – many classes are “open enrollment” throughout the year.  Demonstrates training to an employer.  Use to advance your careerPart of your education. • May qualify for specific financial support.
  • How do I find this training? Minnesota State Workforce Solutions offers many non-credit courses that award certificates.

Seminars and Workshops

  • What is this? Fast and flexible training on a specific skill or topic.
  • Who can take this training? Everyone 16 or older.  Anyone seeking employment or career advancement.
  • Why this training?   One day to a few weeks of training focused on a specific topic or skill area.  Awarded continuing education units (CEU’s) upon completion.  Demonstrates training to an employer. • May qualify for specific financial support. 
  • How do I find this training? Minnesota State Workforce Solutions offers many seminars and workshops.

Basic Skills Training

  • What is this? Learn basic math, reading, writing, or computer skills through classroom instruction. 
  • Who can take this training? Everyone 16 and older. Anyone seeking employment or career advancement.
  • Why this training?  • Many jobs require workers to have basic skills. • These skills are a required pre-requisites for credit-based college programs. • Flexible scheduling options – many classes are “open enrollment” throughout the year.
  • How do I find this training? Minnesota State Workforce Solutions offers many non-credit courses that teach basic skills.  You can also find Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses that teach basic skills.

Adult High School Diploma and GED

  • Standard Competency-Based High School Diploma
    • What is this? Complete through an approved adult basic education (ABE) program.
    • Who can take this training? Adults who do not have a high school diploma or GED.
    • Why this training? • Many jobs require a high school diploma or GED. • Most short-term training requires a high school diploma or GED. • Helps you get admitted into college.
    • How do I find this training? Find an approved ABE program.
  • Test-Based High School Equivalency Diploma (GED)
    • What is this? Test that shows you have competencies equivalent to a high school graduate.  An ABE program can help you prepare for the test. 
    • Who can take this training? Adults who do not have a high school diploma or GED.
    • Why this training? • Many jobs require a high school diploma or GED. • Most short-term training requires a high school diploma or GED. • Helps you get admitted into college.
    • How do I find this training? Take the test online or at a local ABE program. Request GED diploma from the Minnesota Department of Education.

An apprenticeship is short-term training that takes two-to-four years of combined on-the-job training and classroom instruction. It allows you to earn a salary while learning a skilled craft or trade.

Apprenticeship programs are open to anyone with a high school diploma or anyone who is actively pursuing a GED.

Benefits of apprenticeship include:

Help us Understand Your Job-Seeking Experiences. Take a Short Survey.

Minnesota State is seeking volunteers to respond to a survey, which may include providing private information under state and Federal law. Your responses are confidential, and the goal of the survey is to understand your job-seeking experiences, challenges, and unmet needs for supports. The survey is being conducted by an independent research team at UW-Whitewater and has been reviewed and approved by the UWW Institutional Review Board (IRB-FY2021-2022-23). 

*By filling out this form you are providing information which may be private data under Minnesota law. Minnesota State will use the information you provide in this form to contact you about your inquiries regarding the Minnesota Skill Up project only, and for internal business purposes as allowed by law, and not for any other purpose unless required by law or Board policy.