Is Learning and Development the Right Career for You?
If you are considering a career in Learning & Development, you might be wondering whether you have what it takes, whether it is the right career path for you, and how you can start.
To help you decide, it would be useful to get a glimpse into what skills are required as an L&D practitioner, what would be expected from you daily, and the potential career paths you can take.
What does an L&D person do?
As a Learning and Development practitioner, you will gain hands-on experience with various learning styles and techniques, which will enable you to develop your personal learning preference and work method that best suits you. You will be able to identify the organization’s learning needs and communicate them effectively. Furthermore, as an L&D professional, you will be expected to have a clear understanding of the principles of instructional design and its application to different types of learners.
You will also show an understanding of adult learning theory, its practical application and implementation, and research on learner-centredness, creativity, and innovation in learning. You will be able to engage with learners from various backgrounds and those who hold diverse opinions and perspectives and facilitate positive discussion and open communication between them.
You will be able to communicate effectively using different methods and channels. You will also be able to utilize different pedagogical approaches to develop learning outcomes, such as knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Take a glimpse into the Day in the life of L&D.
What career paths are available in L&D?
There is a great deal of flexibility in L&D careers. You can work in various settings, such as schools, workplaces, community organizations, or the government.
The ruth is that there is no single path or route that leads to a career in L&D. Each person’s background, strengths, interests, values, and goals are different from the next, making everyone’s life journey unique. For this reason, it is essential to consider not only what you want to do with your life but also who you are as a person and what you want to get out of your career. Once you have determined these things, you will be able to make informed choices about what career path will suit you best.
There are many career options open to you within learning and development; some of the roles you can hold include:
Learning & Development Administrator
Learning & Development (Business) Partner
Learning & Development Manager
Head of Learning & Development
Learning & Development Director
Learning & Development Consultant
What degree do you need to start in L&D?
Historically, Learning & Development emerged in the US during and after World War II. This means it’s pretty young as a field, and it’s only recently that universities have started introducing degrees in Learning & Development. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to pursue higher education to get the knowledge and skills needed to get a job in this field.
There are several institutions, as well as online education platforms that offer certifications in L&D, with some of them even free.
Coursera offers online video courses from universities around the world. Some of them are free and you only pay for your certification in the end, if you’d like to. Here are some courses to get you introduced to the topic of Learning, training, and employee development.
Udemy is another option when it comes to online learning and you can get a fantastic start with one of their top-rated courses in L&D: 💻 Learning & Development Methods 💻 Instructional Design for Classroom 💻 Learning Needs Analysis
The L&D Academy
Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve put together the most practical, informative, and helpful course on ‘Introduction to Learning & Development’. You get access to it as soon as you sign up and you learn at your own pace.
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If a formal certificate or diploma is important to you…
There are some pricier options out there, (think upwards of $3300) such as CIPD L&D Diploma and ATD Certification Courses in L&D, but before you make such a big time and money investment, we strongly suggest you start with one of the courses above, to get a feel of Learning & Development and if it is the field for you, at all.
Start a career in L&D - FREE Guide
We prepared a short guide to help anyone looking to switch lanes and start a career in Learning and Development. Learn what it takes to become a successful L&D practitioner and what steps you can take to set yourself up for success.