How to Become a Training and Development Specialist
Training and development specialists often need experience in the industry in which they work.
Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree, and most need related work experience.
Training and development specialists need a bachelor’s degree. Specialists can come from a variety of education backgrounds, but many have a bachelor’s degree in training and development, human resources, education, or instructional design. Others may have a degree in business or the social sciences, such as educational or organizational psychology.
In addition, as technology continues to play a larger role in training and development, a growing number of organizations seek candidates who have a background in information technology or computer science.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Related work experience is important for most training and development specialists. Many positions require work experience in training and development, instructional design, teaching, or related work. Some employers also prefer previous work experience in the industry in which the company operates. Increasingly, employers prefer candidates with experience in information technology, as organizations introduce more e-learning and technology-based tools.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Many professional associations for human resources professionals offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the American Society for Training and Development and International Society for Performance Improvement, specialize in training and development and offer certification programs. Although not required, certification can show professional expertise and credibility. In fact, many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.
Training and development specialists may advance to training and development manager or human resources manager positions. Workers typically need several years of experience to advance.
Analytical skills. Training and development specialists must evaluate training programs, methods, and materials, and choose those that best fit each situation.
Instructional skills. Training and development specialists often deliver training programs to employees. They use a variety of teaching techniques and sometimes must adapt their methods to meet the needs of particular groups.
Interpersonal skills. Training and development specialists need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaborating with instructors, trainees, and subject-matter experts. They also accomplish much of their work through teams.
Speaking skills. Speaking skills are essential for training and development specialists because they often give presentations. Specialists must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences.