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  • Writer's pictureIrina Ketkin

How to make sense of L&D job descriptions

The ocean of Learning and Development job opportunities is vast. This can be exhilarating and daunting at the same time! But what exactly is a job description? What is its anatomy? What are some key terms that frequently pop up? What skills and qualifications are usually in demand?


In this article, we will unpack the L&D job description to make sure that when you hit “Apply”, you know what’s waiting on the other side.

Table of Contents:


The Learning and Development Landscape

You may see a job posting for “Learning and Development”. But what people often get wrong is that L&D is an umbrella term for a array of different roles. We’ve talked about the various roles in L&D in a previous post, so we won’t go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that there are many different roles within L&D. If you’re on the hunt for a position in this field, you first need to pick the role that will speak to you the most.


An L&D Job Description Structure

Every job description will roughly follow the same structure:


  • About the company: general information about the company.

  • The role: a high-level overview of the role.

  • Responsibilities: what particular activities are expected of a person in this position.

  • Requirements: a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves skills, education, qualifications or behaviors the ideal candidate must possess.

  • Benefits: what the company offers in return for your time with them.

If any of these is missing in the job posting you’re interested in, feel free to do some research or even approach the hiring manager or Talent Acquisition expert from the company to help you out.

Key L&D Job Description Terms

There are several commonly used terms you need to be aware of when looking at L&D-related job descriptions (alphabetically):


  • 360-Degree Learning Feedback - A feedback process where learners receive confidential, anonymous feedback from their peers, managers, and direct reports.

  • Adult Learning Principles - Theories and practices that reflect the unique ways adults learn, focusing on self-direction, experience, and application.

  • Agile Learning - A flexible, iterative approach to designing and delivering learning experiences that adapt to changing needs and feedback.

  • Andragogy - The method and practice of teaching adult learners.

  • Asynchronous Learning - Learning activities that do not occur in real-time, allowing learners to engage with content at their own pace.

  • Blended Learning - A mix of traditional face-to-face and online learning activities to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

  • Competency-Based Learning - An approach that focuses on mastering specific skills or competencies as the primary goal of education.

  • Learning Culture - An organizational mindset that encourages and supports ongoing learning and development for all employees.

  • Curriculum Development - The process of planning and organizing the content and structure of an educational program.

  • Diversity and Inclusion Training - Programs aimed at fostering an inclusive workplace culture and increasing awareness and appreciation of diversity.

  • eLearning Development - Designing and developing digital learning content, including online courses, webinars, and interactive modules.

  • Employee Onboarding - The process of integrating a new employee into an organization and its culture, including training specific to their role.

  • Gamification - The use of game design elements in non-game contexts, such as learning activities, to enhance motivation and engagement.

  • Instructional Design - The process of creating educational programs and materials that are efficient, effective, and appealing to learners.

  • Kirkpatrick Model - A widely used framework for evaluating the effectiveness of training across four levels: reaction, learning, behavior, and results.

  • Knowledge Management - The process of creating, sharing, using, and managing the knowledge and information of an organization.

  • Learning Analytics - The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for the purpose of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.

  • Learning Ecosystem - The various tools, platforms, strategies, and environments that facilitate learning and knowledge sharing within an organization.

  • Learning Experience Design (LXD) - Crafting learning experiences with a focus on the learner’s interaction with content, aiming to make learning enjoyable and effective.

  • Learning Management System (LMS) - Software applications for administering, documenting, tracking, reporting, and delivering educational courses or training programs.

  • Learning Metrics - Measures used to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of training programs, such as learner engagement and knowledge retention.

  • Learning Pathways - Predefined routes through a series of learning activities designed to build specific knowledge or skills.

  • Microlearning - Short, focused learning units designed for quick consumption to improve knowledge retention and application.

  • Needs Analysis - Identifying and evaluating the learning needs of a target audience to inform program development.

  • Performance Support - Resources or tools provided to employees at the point of need to enhance performance and productivity.

  • ROI of Training/Learning - Calculating the return on investment for training or learning programs by measuring the cost versus the benefits to the organization.

  • SCORM Compliance - Adherence to a set of technical standards for eLearning software that enables interoperability between different systems.

  • Soft Skills Training - Development programs focused on interpersonal skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership.

  • Stakeholder Management - Involving key individuals or groups who have an interest in the success of a learning program in its planning and execution.

  • Succession Planning - Identifying and developing new leaders within an organization to replace those who leave or retire.

  • Synchronous Learning - Real-time learning activities, such as live webinars or classroom training, where participants learn at the same time.

  • Technical Skills Development - Training focused on building specific technical capabilities, such as software proficiency or technical writing.

  • Training Facilitation - Leading and guiding training sessions or workshops to ensure effective learning and participant engagement.

  • Transfer of Learning - The application of skills, knowledge, and competencies acquired in training to the job environment.

  • Virtual Classroom - An online learning environment that allows for live interaction between the tutor and the learners as they are participating in learning activities.


Did you come across a term that’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on LinkedIn for personalized help.


L&D Skills and Knowledge

Every role has its own set of competencies (skills and knowledge). If you want to learn what specific and transferable skills are most likely to appear in a job listing, check out our L&D Competency Inventory. There, you will find detailed descriptions of each skill and knowledge per role and even get a chance to self-evaluate.


L&D Qualifications

The qualifications employers might require vary widely depending on the position, the industry, and even the organization’s size and culture. Make sure to read carefully what the requirements are – some companies will have a long list of degrees you need, and others will value experience more than education.


Some of the most common qualifications you may find are a bachelor's or master’s degree in education, instructional design, psychology, human resources or a related field.

Professional certifications:

Online course certifications:



Tips for interpreting L&D job descriptions


Want to make the most out of every job description you come across? Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Look for the core duties listed in the job description. Those are usually the verbs, like "develop," "design," "facilitate," or "evaluate".

  • Find out what is the main focus of the role - does it lean more towards content creation (e.g., instructional design), technology (e.g., LMS administration), training delivery (e.g., facilitation), or strategy (e.g., program development and evaluation)?

  • Identify what learning theories, models, frameworks, or methodologies (e.g., ADDIE, SAM, Experiential Learning, Bloom’s taxonomy, Kirkpatrick’s Levels, etc.) are important to the employer, and make sure you are familiar with them.

  • Take note of any specific software, tools or platforms (e.g., Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, and Moodle) the potential employer uses.

  • If you come across any unfamiliar terms or jargon, make sure to research them before applying.

  • Assess what is the desired level of experience this organization is looking for - entry-level candidates, mid-career professionals, or senior experts.

  • Look for any mention of what the person in this role is expected to achieve, like improving employee performance, enhancing learning technologies, or increasing engagement in training programs. This can help you leverage your application, especially if you highlight previous accomplishments.



As we wrap up our exploration of Learning and Development job descriptions, we can’t help but wonder - how will this newfound understanding shape your approach to finding your place within the vast landscape of Learning and Development? Drop us a comment down below or reach out if you have any questions. Good luck!


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