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Exploring Training and Development

If you enjoy speaking in front of groups, are comfortable with technology and like helping people grow in their careers, consider a career as a training and development specialist. Investigate job opportunities in this field and see if you already have, or can learn, the hard and soft skills you need for this career.

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 variety of other workplace skills.

In this field you will train people using different methods. You may teach via 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, which may be beneficial 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 be interested in a specific field like government and military, financial, banking, medical or 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 allow you 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.

Finding employment

Search and apply for training and development positions listed on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Some MSEP partners may offer positions such as technical trainers, store trainers or operations trainers.

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

Membership organizations and resources

Join a professional organization in your chosen field to gain a better understanding of current industry practices and policies. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Network with other professionals in your industry to give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to get 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%. The median annual salary in 2018 was $60,870 and most positions require a bachelor's degree. New technologies increase possible opportunities for virtual trainers, which may be a good option for you as a military spouse.

Contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for suggestions, tips or more information on how to get started. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.

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