Who's a Learning and Development Specialist?
Do you love encouraging your friends to do their best? Do you like helping your friends in a group study? Do you create hacks that help others understand class notes? If so, consider a career in learning and development!
As a learning and development specialist, you will train employees at different junctures of their careers. You may train a new hire at their orientation, or help existing employees learn new technology and projects. You will design training programmes and manuals, and create instructional videos and presentations. You could be a part of multiple fields, such as education, instructional design or business. Curious to know more about this career? Click here to read more.
What will you do?
Understanding the needs of an organisation.
Your organisation will want its employees to learn about the new projects they’re taking on or acquaint their employees with new technology. It will be your job to figure out the best way to make this happen.
Example: Depending on the strength of the organisation, you can develop training modules or hold sessions for employees to help familiarise them with the workings of the organisation.
Keeping a regular check on employees.
After conducting training, you will have to check up on the employees’ progress, and keep their managers and CEOs informed about the same.
Example: If you have provided training for a particular process to a team of employees, you will regularly check on their progress to ensure they have understood the process well.
Designing training programmes.
Based on the organisation’s requirements, you will have lengthy discussions with the management on the expected outcomes of the training session and build your training material accordingly, ensuring that all the relevant points are thoroughly covered.
Example: If the company needs every new hire to be well-aware of the companies end-to-end processes, you would create training programmes that takes them through this process and helps them understand what happens at each stage.
Creating manuals and presentations.
For your training sessions, you will create audio-visuals, presentations, documents as well as handy kits to help employees with the training process.
Example: If you work for a tech platform, you would create a video of how employees can navigate your website and show them exactly what the customer sees.
Scheduling and planning training programmes.
Your training programmes should be planned such that it doesn’t interfere with any employee’s work schedule or an important deadline. Also, if you are training employees for a particular project, you must schedule the training early on to give them enough time to grasp it.
Example: If employees need to be taught a new system for a particular project, you would schedule a training well in advance so employees can get a hang of the new system and ensure timely delivery of the project.
Monitoring the budget for training programmes.
You will be provided with a set budget for the training. Within this budget, you must incorporate all the resources you need for the training.
Example: If you plan to make an instructional video, you will have to keep in mind the budget before commissioning a cinematographer.
Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Learning and Development Specialist.
Where will you work?
You will mostly be hired by the medical, finance, education, automobile industries to train newly hired staff. You will work on creating training manuals, programmes, processes and actually conduct the training for employees.
As training and development is a more need-based task, most companies outsource specialists from agencies. At the agency, you would be working in a set department - IT, inductions, finance, etc. Or you would be assigned to set clients.
You would be required to attend and hold seminars for employees. You can either do this on a freelance-basis or you would conduct these seminars for your organisation.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
Analytical and Data Skills
You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.build this skill
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.build this skill
The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.
Marketing strategies involve a lot of trial and error. You will come up with a lot of ideas that sound great on paper. When you analyse them, you might learn that they can’t be executed as per the budget. You should be able to look at an idea practically and see if it will serve its purpose.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
With the business environment in India changing, the demand for learning and development personnel has witnessed a rise. Businesses today are constantly looking to upskill and reskill their workforce to survive the ever-changing market trends. In terms of education, you can pursue either an MBA in HR from institutes like Tata Institute of Social Science, Indian Institute of Management, International School of Business and Media and others or you can opt to do a certification course after your graduation from institutes such as KPMG, Indian Institute of Learning and Development, etc. The fee for pursuing MBA in training and development would cost you anywhere between INR 5,00,000- INR 10,00,000.
If you want to pursue training and development in IT, pursue an MTech in Computer Science from institutes like IIT – Kanpur, IIT – Bombay, etc. The course could cost you anywhere in between INR 1,00,000 – INR 2,00,000.
Pursuing a learning and development course abroad will help you increase your knowledge and skills. You get a chance to interact with people from different countries and develop your communication skills. This will further help you develop your interpersonal skills. Top colleges or institutes abroad that are well-known for offering learning and development courses are the University of Minnesota, Columbia University, University of Glasgow, University of New England and others. Pursuing these courses abroad will cost you anywhere between INR 20,00,000- INR 30,00,000.
How much would you get paid?
What are your career options?
Subject Matter Expertise
If you have worked in a particular field for a long time and have honed your skills and expertise in the same, you can become a Subject Matter Expert. With your years of experience and knowledge, you can begin training freshers and helping individuals who face problems in their line of work. You could work as a consultant on a freelance-basis or join an organisation as an in-house trainer. You could also look at pursuing a course in training and development. However, it is not compulsory.
As a corporate trainer, you would be working full-time for an organisation or you will be working with an agency that outsources trainers to organisations. You will look at conducting training modules for individuals for skills like team-building, collaboration, communication, stress and time management, etc.
This is more of a specialisation in the field of human resource. Here you would work with the human resources department of a company and conduct inductions for new hires, familiarise individuals with the workings and processes of the companies, conduct sessions on awareness about topics like workplace harassment and so on.
One of the most common areas that organisations need trainers is technology. Whenever new software is incorporated or a new system has been installed, employees need to be taught how to use them effectively. This is where you step in. You will need to be an expert with technology to become an IT specialist trainer. You can choose your specialisation – whether you want to work with hardware and machines or software and applications.
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