In America, the term "continuing education" usually refers to a course that you would take once a year or two to aid in you keeping current with your degree. Some jobs even require a certain amount of "continuing education credits" for you to maintain your license or your position. Public school teachers are an example of the kind of job/position that requires CE credits. So the phrase "the continuing ed is tomorrow" would simply mean that the upcoming class/session is happening tomorrow.
My response was written in relation to the "hover hints" which indicated that the word 'Weiterbildung' could be translated as either "advanced training" or "continuing education". And it was an attempt to answer someone's question about weather "continuing" meant something that was 'ongoing' or 'further' or 'additional' or what. So I was just explaining what the term meant here in the US. It helps for us to discuss various phrasings from different cultures. Also, please realize that when I wrote this 2 years ago, the discussions that "others pointed out below" were not there [notice they indicate they were written 4 mo's ago, 1 year ago, etc.] Be kind.
There is a webpage about Weiterbildung in Deutschland, http://www.meinestadt.de/deutschland/weiterbildung. They seem to be just any courses not attached to any regular studies. So perhaps it can mean any language courses, carrier courses, Internet for seniors courses.
Yes, could well be.
I haven't come across that specific English phrase before but Weiterbildung is essentially what you said: professional development, often within your own job (to be able to deal with new laws or situations or simply to become better at what you do) but it could also refer to acquiring new skills so that you can handle a different job in the future.
Edit: apparently, the laws on professional development make a distinction between Fortbildung (essentially within your own job, e.g. a teacher going to a seminar to refresh his skills or update them to the current state of the art) and Weiterbildung (which is wider and includes acquiring completely new skills).
Good question, and one that Germans themselves have, as a quick Google search reveals :) I wasn't sure, either.
Informally, they mean pretty much the same thing.
But in relation to a job, there is a distinction made -- as I understand it from a quick skim of some articles, Fortbildung is qualification inside your current job to refresh, update, or broaden your skills, while Weiterbildung is more general and includes all sorts of professional development, including acquiring new skills that you do not need for your current job (but perhaps want to acquire for a new job that you would like to move to).
Yes, "Weiterbildung" actually consists of two words Bildung and weiter. Bildung meaning something like education in a broad sense including languages, sports, culture, something that is done during the youth. "Weiter" means something like "further", "more", "advanced", "specialized" and that is done after the normal education is finished. "Fortbuilding" is a training for a specific subject or profession. A fortbuildung for teacher or solder.
"training" is like "exercising", it is sometime small, measured in hours or weeks. "Bildung" is something like "shaping". You start with a baby and you shape it into a wonderful woman. "Ausbildung" has this "aus" attached which means something like "out", "end". An "Ausbildung" is a specific program which leads to a specific job for instance medical doctor. "Weiterbuildung" is something that is done after the Ausbildung is finished. For instance when the medical doctor wants to do an additional education / training for "Skin cancers", or "war casualties"
As a native German: What we all are doing here is "Weiterbildung" in the meaning of increasing our skills or to maintain them. "Die Weiterbildung ist morgen" just expresses the fact that this will happen tomorrow. It's almost impossible to find a fitting word in English for "Weiterbildung" and vice versa. Would I translate it literally ..."FurtherEducation" would be the result. But there is another lack of clarity concerning the word "Education". In German it means "Erziehung" in the context of raising a child/children. "Bildung" expresses the degree/amount of knowledge somebody owns. However "Ausbildung" has the meaning of apprenticeship ... German is really hard, isnt't it?