What Can I Do with a Master’s in Training & Development?

For those students with a serious interest in carving out a career in training and development, it is imperative to investigate the available programs. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in training and development, look into a master’s to really step up your career.

Before deciding on an academic program in the training and development specialization within the business realm, it is essential to understand variations and nuances that exist between the following:

  • Training and Development vs Human Resources
  • Training and Development vs Human Resource Management
  • Training and Development vs Human Resource Development

The importance of training and development in human resource management crosses most economic sectors and environments because all employees and personnel require training and development if they are to perform optimally and businesses are to maximize production and, thus, profits.

What is a Master of Training and Development Degree Program?

A graduate degree in training and development degree program prepares graduates to –

  • Develop training materials and other learning tools.
  • Evaluate an organization’s training needs and designing programs to meet the anticipated needs.
  • Design performance evaluation methods and techniques that can be applied to current personnel.
  • Conduct training sessions to improve employee performance and morale.
  • Design instructional programs and materials across different types of media and delivery methods.

As such, both on-campus and online master’s in training and development degree programs provide students with adept communication abilities and the talents to lead human resource and training divisions in government or private sector businesses.   

Online master’s in training and development degree programs vary in term and often include some form of internship or practicum during which degree candidates can apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world applications.

Accreditation for Training and Development Schools and Programs

The United States’ Department of Education (USDE) recognizes two fundamental types of accreditation in the academic realm.

The first is known as institutional accreditation and applies to the evaluation and accreditation of the school or learning institution as a whole. Institutional accreditation is offered by sanctioned agencies that award either national or regional accreditation to those colleges/schools/universities, which established that each of the school’s parts contributes to the school’s academic goals and objectives.

A school, college, or university that is awarded accreditation by a regional agency has fully complied with the educational & institutional criteria as set forth by the federal government’s six regional agencies.

Specialized Accreditation

Specialized accreditation is administered by industry-approved professional agencies, tasked with the specific task by industry leaders.  

Specialized accreditation is a formalized education quality control process that seeks to evaluate specific programs or departments within colleges or universities. However, unlike regional accreditation, specialized accreditation is voluntary and typically involves more stringent standards than its regional counterpart.

What is a Good Online Master in Training and Development Degree Program?

If you are researching and investigating which of the best online master’s programs for human resources development and training, it is important to recognize which of the programs have received regional or specialized accreditation. The best online masters programs for human resources development and training will often be accredited by these preeminent business accrediting agencies –

  • The AACSB– the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the oldest of the business accreditation agencies dedicated to business education.
  • The ACBSP– the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs is another well-respected accrediting agency for business education degree programs.
  • The IACBE– the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, accredits business and other accounting-related degree programs across the globe.

Additionally, online masters programs for human resources development programs may be accredited by –

Types of Masters of Training and Development Degrees 

While bachelor’s degrees tend to include a comprehensive general education requirement, a graduate degree program – like a masters in training and development online or on-campus degree option, tend to offer more specialized curricula.

A training and development masters degree program offered through a distance learning platform may include specialized tracks related to a master of training and development degree that includes –

  • Technology & Training Program Integration.
  • Training the Adult Learner.
  • Strategic Workforce Planning.
  • Training and Education Consulting, to name a few.

Most on-campus or online masters in training and development degree programs require degree candidates to complete 30 to 40 semester units to meet program requirements. Depending on the student’s course load, most students complete a training and development masters online degree in about two years; however, some masters in training and development online degree programs are offered with accelerated formats that can be completed in about one year.

Remember, it is essential to determine the accreditation status of any training and development masters degree program before committing to enroll in any graduate degree in training and development program.

Certifications & Licenses for Training and Development Professionals

Training and Development professionals often choose to earn one of the various training and development specialist certifications available within the industry to further or refine their specific knowledge or to become eligible for leadership positions with higher compensation packages. Fortunately, these graduate certificate in training and development online or on-campus certifications and credentials are affordable and cover a variety of training and development specialist certification specializations.

Available Online Graduate Certificate in Training and Development Programs

Established nearly one-half century ago, the Human Research Certification Institute offers eight certificate options that include an associate professional level, a professional level, a senior professional level, and a global professional level. The available training and development certifications offered by the Human Research Certification Institute are as follows –

  • The Associate of Professional Human Resources (aPHR)
  • The Associate of Professional Human Resources – International Credential (aPHRi)
  • The Professional in Human Resources Credential (PHR)
  • The Professional in Human Resources Credential – California (PHRca)
  • The Professional in Human Resources – International (Credential PHRi)
  • The Senior Professional in Human Resources (HR) Credential (SPHR)
  • The Senior Professional in Human Resources – International Credential (SPHRi)
  • The Global Professional in Human Resources Credential (GPHR)

Established more than six decades ago, the Society for Human Resource Professionals also offers two behavioral certifications that are competency-based credentials for early and mid-career training and development professionals. These include the SHRM SCP – Senior Certified Professional or the SHRM CP – the Certified Professional.

The ISPI – the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI) offers three certifications for training and development professionals – The CPT (Certified Human performance Technologist), the CDT (Certified Develop of Training), or the CFT (Certified Facilitator of Training.

Advanced Careers in Training and Development

Those who earn a graduate degree in training and development will find their earned degree will open up a wide variety of training and development management jobs from which to choose. These potential masters in training and development jobs reach across most sectors of the economy. As you consider the available graduate degree programs in which to enroll, be sure to answer these relevant questions regarding masters of training and development jobs and potential careers –

  • Are there training and development manager jobs near me that will meet my salary requirements?
  • What is the job description of a training and development manager in the field of my choice?
  • Which jobs in training and development management offer the most upward mobility?
  • Are there training and development management jobs that offer international travel?
  • Which jobs in training and development management have the highest salaries?

Let’s review the various specialties of the available training and development manager jobs.

A Human Resource Manager – the training and development managers job description for this position in human resources would include the oversight and administration of human resource development, including training, performance, and assessment. Human resource managers are often the key and vital link between employees and the management professionals tasked with operating the company profitably.

A Compensation Specialist – the training and development manager job description for a compensation specialist would include the management and oversight of employee benefits, which includes salary and retirement planning. Most entry-level training and development compensation specialists require a baccalaureate degree; however, a training and development manager’s job description will likely require a graduate-level degree or higher to be eligible to apply for this managerial position.

A School & Career Counselor Managerial Specialist – the job description of a training and development manager involved in counseling and training young students would include the provision of academic and career guidance to help young learners reach their professional goals while navigating a somewhat complex educational playing field. It is noted that most states require professional school or career counselors to hold professional certification and a relevant graduate level degree.

An Instructional Coordinator – a training and development manager job description for an instructional coordinator includes the preparation and maintenance of education curricula that meets government standards and reaches mandated student outcomes. Certain states require professional instruction coordinators to become appropriately licensed.

Salary for Training and Development Specialist & Management Professionals

According to the professional statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median training and development managers salary during 2019 was $61,210 per year, which translates to $29.43 per hour. Additionally, there were approximately 325,000 training and development specialists working in the United States, with anticipated job growth of 9% over the next decade.

Training and Development Specialists

It is helpful to review the training and development managers salary percentile data as follows –

Salary Percentile Data – Training & Development SpecialistsSalary for Training and Development SpecialistTraining and Development Specialist Salary with Masters -Hourly
10%$   32,680 per year$ 15.71 per hour
25%$   44,680 per year$ 45.65 per hour
50% (Median)$  61,210 per year$ 29.43 per hour
75%$  81,290 per year$ 39.08 per hour
90%$ 104,000 per year$ 50.10 per hour

The top-paying states for training and development specialists are as follows –

The top Paying States for Training & Development SpecialistsNumber of Jobs for Training & Development Specialists
Salary for Training and Development Specialist
District of Columbia1,910$ 80,570 per year 
  Washington7,250$ 78,350 per year 
New Jersey6,410$ 77,370 per year 
Massachusetts8,590$ 77,040 per year 
California29,600$ 74,890 per year 

Human Resource Managers

According to the professional statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median training and development managers salary during 2019 was $116,720 per year, which translates to $56.11 per hour. Additionally, there were approximately 160,000 training and development specialists working in the United States, with anticipated job growth of 6% over the next decade.

It is helpful to review the training and development managers salary percentile data for human resource managers, as follows –

Salary Percentile Data – Human Resource ManagersTraining and Development Manager Salary – Human ResourcesTraining and Development Specialist Salaries -Hourly
10%$   68,300 per year$ 32.84 per hour
25%$   88,150 per year$ 42.38 per hour
50% (Median)$  116,720 per year$ 56.11 per hour
75%$  156,560 per year$ 75.27 per hour
90%$ 205,720 per year$ 98.90 per hour

These are the top-paying states for human resource managers, as follows –

The Top Paying States for Human Resource ManagersNumber of Jobs for Human Resource ManagersSalary for Training and Development Specialist
New Jersey4,220$ 172,060 per year 
  Washington, DC1,600$ 165,480 per year 
New York10,980$ 158,830 per year 
Rhode Island330$ 154,410 per year 
Connecticut2,990$ 151,030 per year 

Education, Guidance, School and Career Counselors

According to the professional statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for 2019 for school and career counselors was $57,040, which translates to $27.42 per hour. Additionally, there were approximately 330,000 training and development specialists working in the United States, with anticipated job growth of 8% over the next decade.

It is helpful to review the training and development managers salary percentile data for education and career counselors, as follows –

Salary Percentile Information – School/Career CounselorsManager of Training and Development SalaryTraining and Development Specialist Salaries -Hourly
10%$   34,380 per year$ 32.84 per hour
25%$   44,010 per year$ 21.16 per hour
50% (Median)$  57,040 per year$ 27.42 per hour
75%$  74,430 per year$ 35.79 per hour
90%$  96,090 per year$ 46.20 per hour

The top-paying states for education and career counselors are as follows –

The Top Paying States for Education & Career CounselorsNumber of Jobs for Education/Career CounselorsSalary for Training and Development Specialist
California32,650$ 78,250 per year 
New Jersey7,010$ 73,160 per year 
Maryland5,810$ 70,380 per year 
New York26,500$ 68,890 per year 
District of Columbia1,740$ 68,810 per year 

Instructional Coordinators

The BLS’ statisticians indicate that there were nearly 200,000 professional training and development professionals working as instructional coordinators. In 2019, the median annual salary for professional instructional coordinators was $66,290, which translates to $31.87 per hour. Additionally, the statisticians working for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expect the job growth for instructional coordinators to be 6% over the next decade, which is slightly faster than the average of all U.S. occupations.

It is helpful to review the training and development managers salary percentile data for instructional coordinators, as follows –

Salary Percentile Data – Instructional CoordinatorsTraining and Development Manager SalaryTraining and Development Specialist Salaries -Hourly
10%$   38,260 per year$ 18.40 per hour
25%$   50,930 per year$ 24.49 per hour
50% (Median)$  66,290 per year$ 31.87 per hour
75%$  85,090 per year$ 40.91 per hour
90%$ 103,790 per year$ 49.90 per hour

The top-paying states for instructional coordinators are as follows –

The Top Paying States for Instructional CoordinatorsNumber of Jobs for Instructional CoordinatorsSalary for Training and Development Specialist
District of Columbia1,500$ 96,640 per year 
Connecticut1,210$ 94,450 per year 
Oregon1,510$ 83,110 per year 
California20,910$ 80,970 per year 
New Jersey4,330$ 76,,680 per year 

Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists

The BLS’ statisticians indicate that there were nearly 95,000 professional compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist professionals working as instructional coordinators. In 2019, the yearly median salary for those professionals working as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $64,560, which translates to $31.04 per hour.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the job growth for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists through 2029 will be 8%, which is about twice as fast as the anticipate job growth average of all other occupations combined during the same decade. ,

It is helpful to review the training and development managers salary percentile data for compensation and benefits specialists, as follows –

Salary Percentile Data – Compensation, Benefits & Job Analysis SpecialistsTraining and Development Manager SalaryTraining and Development Specialist Salaries -Hourly
10%$   40,140 per year$ 19.30 per hour
25%$   50,000 per year$ 24.04 per hour
50% (Median)$  64,560 per year$ 31.04 per hour
75%$  82,920 per year$ 39.86 per hour
90%$ 105,600 per year$ 50.77 per hour

The top-paying states for compensation and benefits specialists are as follows –

The Top Paying States for Compensation and Benefits SpecialistsNumber of Jobs for Compensation & Benefits SpecialistsSalary for Training and Development Specialist
New Jersey 3,940$ 88,600 per year 
District of Columbia570$ 81,830 per year 
Washington1,770$ 79,950 per year 
Massachusetts2,260$ 79,580 per year 
New York9,760$ 78,810 per year 

Finally, it is essential to review some of the training and development-related occupations that may offer students additional pathways to more rewarding careers –  

Training & Development Specialists Type2019 Median Salary – Yearly2019 Median Salary – HourlyAnticipated Job Growth Through 2029
Career and Technical Education Educators$ 58,110 Year$ n/a2 % Growth
Compensation & Benefits Managers$ 122,270 Per Year$ 58,78 Per Hour3 % Growth
Labor Relations Specialists$ 69,020 Per Year$ 33,18 Per Hour-7 % Contraction

Professional Organizations 

The American Society for Training and Development

The ASTD – the American Society for Training & Development is recognized among the largest professional association devoted to the essentials and advocacy of workplace learning & workplace performance evaluation. Founded in 1943, ASTD members represent more than 100 countries, with occupations across private and public sectors.

The Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), situated in Virginia, is a nonprofit professional organization that is recognized among the twelve largest in the country. This human resource and training professional organization has more than 100,000 members across the globe.

The Association for Talent Development

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) operates as a professional organization dedicated to helping those who help others reach their full potential by implementing programs to improve skills and talents within the workplace. Membership in ATD is offered from local chapters in more than 100 countries, with a variety of education and research available to those professionally employed in the training and development field.

The International Society for Performance Improvement

The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) operates as a nonprofit organization and seeks to maximize the field of human & organizational performance by offering networking (international and national) options and conferences, as well as certifications in training and development.

The World Federation of People Management Associations

The World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) was established in the mid-1970s to help improve the effectiveness of people managers across the globe. The membership in the World Federation of People Management Associations exceeds 650,000 members worldwide. 

Carrie Morris
Author

Warren Dahl
Editor-in-Chief