Earning a Master's in Training and Development Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Training and Development Online?

Training and development managers work with large corporations in diverse industries to ensure that employees possess adequate skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median salary of $108,250 per year and projects a 10% growth rate by 2026.

Professionals seeking a role in this in-demand field can advance their careers with an online master's degree in training and development. Many students in these programs have a background in business, human resources, or education; however, many schools offer bridge classes for learners whose bachelor's degree covered other topics.

Students who excel in this field possess exceptional communication and problem-solving skills. Earning a master's degree in training and development online rather than on campus provides flexibility for professionals to continue working while earning their degree.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Training and Development Graduates

Master's in Training and Development Salary

Graduates with a master's degree in training and development are qualified to work as managers. Training and development managers earn different wages depending on their location and experience. In New Jersey, Washington D.C., New York, and Rhode Island, training and development managers earn more than $140,000 per year, on average. Payscale reports that the national average salary for these positions steadily rises with experience. The mean annual salary for entry-level training and development managers is $63,000 while senior managers earn about $87,000 per year.

Top Paying States for Training and Development Managers

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New Jersey 1,110 $147,970
District of Columbia 310 $147,370
New York 3,470 $142,710
Rhode Island 60 $141,010
Virginia 790 $134,180
United States 34,500 $117,690

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Training and Development Managers

  • Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
    $63,000
  • Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
    $73,000
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
    $85,000
  • Late-Career (20+ Years):
    $87,000

Source: PayScale

Master's in Training and Development Careers

The top online master's degrees in training and development prepare learners to lead departments as human resource managers, oversee school curricula as instructional coordinators, or manage the compensation aspect of human resources. Some graduates concentrate on training certain types of employees and work as training and development specialists.

Human Resources Managers

Annual Median Salary: $110,120

Projected Growth Rate: 9%

These professionals oversee the functions of human resources departments. Managers create budgets, set employment goals, and oversee hiring. Some companies will hire candidates with bachelor's degrees and experience. However, an online master's degree in training and development provides candidates with a competitive edge on the job market.

Training and Development Managers

Annual Median Salary: $108,250

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

These professionals coordinate programs that train new hires and existing employees. Some companies accept candidates with relevant bachelor's degrees, but only with ample experience. A master's degree in training and development fast-tracks professionals into these positions.

Training and Development Specialists

Annual Median Salary: $60,360

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

These human resources professionals work under the supervision of training and development managers. They conduct the training courses that managers design, and assist in administrative duties. These candidates may have experience in the jobs for which they train people.

Instructional Coordinators

Annual Median Salary: $63,750

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Instructional coordinators often find employment in public school districts. These education professionals develop curricula for schools, assess the results of their programs, and make changes as needed. Most employers in this field require candidates to possess a master's degree and some instructional experience.

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Annual Median Salary: $62,680

Projected Growth Rate: 9%

These professionals work in human resources departments, focusing on employee salaries and benefits. They may work as employees or freelancers and assess a company's pay and benefit structures, then make recommendations for improvements and implement those recommendations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Training and Development Program?

Each accredited online master's degree in training and development provides learners with unique opportunities. Some programs focus on human resources with a concentration in training, and others focus entirely on employee development. Though curricula vary, many schools offer the courses below.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Training and Development

Human Resources Analytics

Training managers, human resources directors, and development specialists must analyze the results of their programs. These courses give students the conceptual and mathematical skills needed to collect relevant data and make inferences based on the findings.

Strategic Workforce Planning

Students in these courses study theories about effective workforce planning and techniques for applying those theories. Learners discover how to hire employees that support company objectives. These skills are particularly important for candidates seeking management positions in human resources.

Employment Law

Human resources professionals must take care not to violate employment laws. These classes teach degree candidates about pertinent laws and when to consult a lawyer to protect themselves and their employers.

Human Learning and Development

Students study the leading theories behind how people learn and retain knowledge. Students also learn practical techniques for implementing teaching strategies. Training managers and instructional coordinators lean on the skills that they develop in these classes when they develop curricula.

Capstone

Many of the best online master's degrees in training and development require candidates to finish a capstone experience at the end of the program in the form of an internship or final project. In both cases, learners gain hands-on experience and items for their portfolios, which they may use to find employment.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Training and Development Prepares For

  • ATD Certified Professional in Learning and Performance: Among the professionals who earn this certification, 80% report that employers recognize their expertise more than before and 85% say that the credential gives them a competitive advantage. Graduates with approved master's degrees in training and development qualify for the certification with four years of full-time work experience in any professional setting.
  • SHRM Certified Professional: SHRM is one of the most recognizable organizations in the field. Professionals with an online master's degree in training and development can sit for the exam as soon as they begin a human resources job. The exam consists of 160 questions about the essential functions of human resources professionals.
  • HRCI Senior Professional in Human Resources: The SPHR certification demonstrates expertise in strategic management and human resources policies. Candidates with eligible master's degrees need four years of professional human resources management experience to sit for the exam.
  • HRCI Professional in Human Resources: This HRCI credential demonstrates expertise in essential human resources operations and technical functions. Applicants with master's degrees in training and development need one year of professional experience in human resources to sit for the 150-question exam.