Training and development managers are employees or consultants who develop and implement training programs to help employees acquire new skills. They work with companies on a short- or long-term basis to increase productivity, maximize profits and assist with major transitions. These professionals come from a variety of educational and career backgrounds. While there is no set path to a getting job in this field, there are some good strategies for maximizing your chances.
Training and development specialists are in high demand. The first step toward a securing a job in this competitive field is getting a good education. Most development and training jobs require a bachelor's or master's degree. Choose a degree in business administration, organizational marketing or human resources, and begin narrowing down your preferred industry or field while you are still in college. Once you start gaining relevant work experience, look into getting certified. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Certification Institute offers certifications for a number of topics and fields.
Get Work Experience
Consider a teaching job. It helps you hone your communication skills and gives you experience conveying information to others in a formal setting. Ideally, get a job teaching adults since adults will be your students once you become a training and development specialist.
Also try getting an entry-level job at a company for which you would eventually like to do training and development. A job as a training assistant is ideal as it affords you the opportunity to gain knowledge about the job from established professionals. Because strong training and development professionals are such a vital part of a human resources team, most firms only consider hiring people with experience, so it is a good idea to get as much training experience as possible.
Start by taking on special projects anywhere you work. Taking the initiative to join new projects tests your ability to plan and implement new protocols and procedures, making you better prepared to create training programs in the future. For even more experience, try volunteering. The American Cancer Society and Red Cross are always looking for volunteers to help teach earthquake preparedness and stop-smoking programs. Take advantage of these and other opportunities to gain experience training others so that you can eventually land your dream job.
Hone Your Skills
This includes getting up-to-date on the latest educational and presentation software, taking a public speaking class and studying the latest news and developments in your industry. Also practice creating your own training and teaching materials. Test your materials by presenting them at local community organizations such as churches, schools and community colleges. Get feedback on your work from your students and from industry professionals.
The training and development field is expected to grow roughly one percent each year for the next 10 years. Candidates with advanced degrees and work experience in business, management and training are expected to have the best opportunities for securing a job. Earn your degree, gain experience training and teaching others, secure an entry-level position from a company you like, and learn the ropes from other professionals to land a great job in this field.
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