BlogLearning & Development

Training vs Learning: What's the Difference?

Jamie Olson
VP of People & Culture

Unravel the distinction between training and learning. Dive into their unique characteristics, objectives, and the pivotal role each plays in professional development.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning

Welcome to another insightful post from Continu, your go-to source for all things related to corporate learning and development. Today, we're diving into a topic that often confuses many: the differences between learning and training.

Understanding these differences is crucial for any HR professional or business leader.

Let's get started!

What is Learning?

Learning is a lifelong process. It's about gaining new skills, knowledge, and attitudes. It's not just for the workplace; it happens everywhere, all the time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lifelong process
  • Broad in scope
  • Self-directed

Ready to take your employee learning strategy to the next level? Download our free eBook on 'How to Cultivate a Culture of Learning'.

What is Training?

Training is more specific. It's planned and goal-oriented. Usually, it's tied to your job and aims to make you better at it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Short-term
  • Specific goals
  • Often led by an instructor

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Learning vs. Training: Key Differences

Learning is the broader process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and competencies, often self-directed and ongoing. Training, a subset of learning, is more structured and aimed at specific outcomes, usually provided by an organization to improve job-related skills and knowledge. While learning can occur in various contexts, training is typically designed and delivered with clear objectives in mind.

  1. Scope: Learning is broad; training is narrow.
  2. Duration: Learning is ongoing; training has a start and end date.
  3. Goals: Learning aims for personal growth; training aims for job performance.

Why Both Matter in the Workplace

Both learning and training are key for a successful business. Learning helps with employee engagement and retention. Training ensures everyone can do their job well.

As VP of People & Culture at Continu, with over 15 years of experience in corporate learning and HR, I can vouch for the importance of both learning and training in the workplace.

In fact, 2019 study in The International Journal of Business and Management Research found that 90% of workers said training programs made them better at their jobs.


Understanding the differences between learning and training is crucial for any organization. Both have their place and importance in personal and professional development. By recognizing these differences, you can create a more effective and engaging learning environment.

See how Continu can help improve both learning and training in your organization. Start your free trial today!

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About the Author
Jamie Olson, VP of People & Culture at Continu
Jamie Olson
VP of People & Culture

Jamie Olson is the VP of People and Culture at Continu, a leading Learning Management System (LMS) company. With almost 20 years of experience in Human Resources, Jamie brings a wealth of knowledge in areas such as Learning and Development, Employee Training, Talent Management, and Performance Management. She's passionate about creating environments that foster learning and growth, and she's an expert in leveraging technology to enhance HR processes. Jamie's insights are grounded in her extensive experience and her commitment to helping organizations cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.

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