Careers in Training and Development Part 1: A bright outlook
There has never been a better time to consider a career in training and development. As the complexity of our world increases, so does the need for those who can design, deliver, and direct the process of knowledge acquisition and management. According to O-Net, a repository of occupational information developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, the job outlook for trainers is bright. “Bright Outlook occupations are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, or will have large numbers of job openings.” According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the career opportunities in training and development are expected to increase by 11% over the next decade, demonstrating the high demand for experts in workplace learning in our knowledge economy.
Many are drawn to the field of training because they want to have a direct impact on the lives of others. Creating opportunities for learning and development can have a positive and lasting effect that translates to increased job satisfaction, earnings, opportunity, and quality of life. The skills required of trainers can be applied in any industry; Fortune 500 businesses, healthcare, government, non-profits, and education all need the skills of a learning professional to elevate the performance of their constituents.
Some enter the field because they seek a creative outlet. Instructional designers use their knowledge of learning, cognition, and technology to craft innovative ways to deliver learning applications that get results. Many in the field enjoy the necessity for continuous learning to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in learning and technology.
Careers in training also provide almost unlimited options for reinvention. Some may begin their career as an instructional designer, translating learning objectives into curriculum and programs, then move into delivery, using face-to-face or virtual tools to facilitate learning experiences, others may focus only on technology, creating e-learning solutions, or choose a management track that leads to the C-suite. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit can form their own consulting firm or join an existing firm. Some individuals specialize in a particular industry—healthcare, finance, or technology—while others work across sectors.
If you seek a career where you can: make a positive impact on the lives of others, utilize creativity and design skills, benefit from career progression and mobility, and experience continuous learning and challenge, then training and development might be the field for you.
O-Net Training and Development: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1151.00
Bureau of Labor and Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/OOH/business-and-financial/training-and-development-specialists.htm#tab-6
Questions for Discussion:
1. What aspects of the field of training interest you?
2. Which specific areas of opportunity in the field of training do you feel are most likely to grow? Why?