How to Become a Training and Development Specialist
Training and development specialists need strong interpersonal and speaking skills to effectively present training programs.
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 may have a variety of education backgrounds, but most have a bachelor’s degree in training and development, human resources, education, or instructional design. Others may have a degree in business administration or a social science, such as educational or organizational psychology.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Related work experience is important for most training and development specialists. Many positions require work experience in areas such as training and development or instructional design, or in related occupations, such as human resources specialists or teachers.
Employers may prefer to hire candidates with previous work experience in the industry in which the company operates, or with experience in e-learning, mobile training, and technology-based tools. However, some employers may hire candidates with a master’s degree in lieu of work experience.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Many human resources associations offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the Association for Talent 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. Some 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. Some employers require managers to have a master’s degree in a related area.
Analytical skills. Training and development specialists must evaluate training programs, methods, and materials, and choose those that best fit each situation.
Communication skills. Specialists need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaboration with instructors, trainees, and subject-matter experts. They accomplish much of their work through teams. Specialists must communicate information clearly and facilitate learning by diverse audiences.
Creativity. Specialists should be creative when developing training materials. They may need to think of and implement new approaches, such as new technology, when evaluating existing training methods.
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.