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Exploring Training and Development

Training and development specialists should enjoy speaking in front of groups, be comfortable with technology and like helping people grow in their careers. Investigate job opportunities in this field and determine if you possess or can develop the hard and soft skills necessary for success.

Training and development specialists are responsible for planning, creating and conducting programs to improve individual and organizational performance across almost every industry. They often teach work-related skills including computer applications, policies and procedures, quality assurance, customer service, assembly or a range of other employment applications.

Training methods include classroom training, demonstrations, on-the-job training, meetings, conferences and workshops. Online training is a fast-growing sector of training and development due to technology advances. This may be advantageous to you as a military spouse seeking transferable or virtual work opportunities. If you're interested in working as a training specialist, learn how to use various presentation techniques, online meeting software and conference resources to increase your chances of finding virtual training positions.

Tips for success

Review these ideas if you're considering a training and development career.

  • Select an area or environment of interest. You may have interest in an industry such as government and military, financial, banking or medical, or be an expert in one or more software applications. You'll be more likely to excel as a trainer if you train others on topics that interest you.
  • Choose the right degree. You may consider majoring in education and taking coursework in organizational development and training, or possibly majoring in business or another subject that is relevant to your industry. Use the College Scorecard tool to research your options.
  • Improve your communication and training skills by taking public speaking classes or joining organizations that give you an opportunity to develop your skills — this can include volunteer organizations.
  • Consider the possibilities. Corporate trainers can be full-time employees of an organization, independent consultants or employees of a training firm supporting businesses on a short-term basis to train employees. Build your skills and experience and expand your opportunities as an employee, consultant or business owner.

Looking for jobs

Search and apply for training and development positions listed on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Some MSEP partners offering positions as technical trainers, store trainers or operations trainers include the following:

You may also find training and development employment or contract opportunities with Spouse Ambassador Network members — Blue Star Families Blue Star Families and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network.

Membership organizations and resources

Consider joining a professional organization in your chosen field to gain a better understanding of current industry practices and policies surrounding training and development. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Networking with other professionals in your industry will give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to obtain an interview at your new location. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.

Employment of training and development specialists is projected to grow at a faster than average pace of 11 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. The median annual salary in 2016 was $59,020 and most positions require a bachelor's degree. New technologies increase possible opportunities for virtual trainers, which may make sense to you as a military spouse. Call a career coach at 800-342-9647 for suggestions, tips or more information on how to get started.

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