Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists.
Training and development managers typically do the following:
- Assess employees’ needs for training
- Align training with the organization’s strategic goals
- Create and manage a training budget, ensuring that operations are within budget
- Develop and implement training programs that make the best use of available resources
- Update training programs to ensure that they are current
- Oversee the creation of educational materials, such as online learning modules
- Review training materials from a variety of vendors and select materials with appropriate content
- Teach training methods and skills to instructors and supervisors
- Evaluate the effectiveness of training programs and instructors
Companies want to promote a more productive and knowledgeable workforce to stay competitive in business. Providing opportunity for development is a selling point for recruiting high-quality employees, and it helps retain employees who can contribute to business growth. Training and development managers work to align training and development with an organization’s goals.
Training and development managers oversee training programs, staff, and budgets. They are responsible for organizing training programs, including creating or selecting course content and materials. Training often takes place in classrooms or training facilities. Increasingly, training is in the form of a video, self-guided instructional manual, or online application and delivered through a computer, tablet, or other hand-held electronic device. Training may also be collaborative, with employees informally connecting with experts, mentors, and colleagues, often through social media or other online mediums. Managers must ensure that training methods, content, software, systems, and equipment are appropriate and meaningful.
Training and development managers typically supervise a staff of training and development specialists, such as instructional designers, program developers, and instructors. Managers teach training methods to specialists who, in turn, instruct the organization’s employees—both new and experienced. Managers direct the daily activities of specialists and evaluate their effectiveness. Although most managers primarily oversee specialists and training and development program operations, some—particularly those in smaller companies—also may conduct training courses.
To enhance employees’ skills and an organization’s overall quality of work, training and development managers often confer with managers of each department to identify its training needs. They may work with top executives and financial officers to identify and match training priorities with overall business goals. They also prepare training budgets and ensure that expenses stay within budget.
Candidates need a combination of education and related work experience to become a training and development manager. Although training and development managers need a bachelor’s degree for many positions, some jobs require a master’s degree.
Training and development managers need a bachelor’s degree for many positions, and some jobs require a master’s degree. They can have a variety of educational backgrounds, but they often have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field.
Many employers prefer or require training and development managers to have a master’s degree, usually with a concentration in training and development, human resources management, organizational development, or business administration.
Training and development managers also may benefit from studying instructional design, behavioral psychology, or educational 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 essential for training and development managers. Many positions require work experience in training and development or another human resources field, management, or teaching. For example, many training and development managers start out as training and development specialists. Some employers also prefer experience in the industry in which the company operates. Increasingly, employers are looking for workers with experience in information technology as organizations introduce more e-learning and technology-based tools.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although training and development managers are not legally required to be certified, certification can show professional expertise and credibility. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.
Many professional associations for human resources professionals 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.
Communication skills. Training and development managers must clearly communicate information and facilitate learning by diverse audiences. They also must be able to effectively convey instructions to their staff.
Critical-thinking skills. Training and development managers use critical-thinking skills when assessing classes, materials, and programs. They must identify the training needs of an organization and recognize where changes and improvements can be made.
Decisionmaking skills. Training and development managers must select or create the best training programs to meet the needs of the organization. For example, they must review available training methods and materials and choose those that best fit each program.
Interpersonal skills. Training and development managers need strong interpersonal skills because delivering training programs requires collaborating with staff, trainees, subject matter experts, and the organization’s leaders. They also accomplish much of their work through teams.
Leadership skills. Managers are often in charge of a staff and are responsible for many programs. They must be able to organize, motivate, and instruct those working under them.