Chief Learning Officer: Education Requirements and Career Info

Sep 30, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chief learning officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degrees, job duties and advanced educational opportunities to find out if this is the career for you.

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A job as a chief learning officer requires an undergraduate degree and previous work experience, as they hold key managerial positions. They design training initiatives that can boost an organization's operating efficiency and improve chances for success.

Essential Information

A chief learning officer is an executive who is in charge of a company's education and training programs. Sometimes, these professionals are referred to as training and development managers. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor's degree, but managers are expected to have previous work experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; master's degree may be required
Other Requirements Previous work experience; master's degree or professional certification (some employers)
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 8% (for training and development managers)
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $111,340 (for training and development managers)

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for a Chief Learning Officer

Chief learning officers need to have a bachelor's degree, usually in human resources, business administration or a closely related subject. They must also have previous work experience. In addition, some companies and organizations prefer to hire candidates who have a master's degree in human resources, management or teaching. Information technology expertise is also increasingly helpful when looking for a job, since computer-based instruction is becoming more popular. Other relevant topics to study include instructional design, behavioral psychology and educational psychology.

Some employers also give preference to job applicants who hold voluntary professional certifications from industry organizations. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) offers the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification, which comprises both a multiple choice exam and a work product portion that includes submission of current work samples ( The ASTD also offers many certificates in areas such as learning design and leadership development that may be a good idea for those wishing to enhance their career potential.

Career Info

Chief learning officers, also known as training and development managers, develop programs to help employees better meet their company's stated goals. On a day-to-day basis, chief learning officers work with supervisors and managers to determine a company's training needs. From there, they design training programs for both employees and managers that are intended to improve workplace efficiency, communication and productivity in order to ensure the company's success.

They are also involved in the implementation of these programs, which involves purchasing the necessary educational materials and technologies, as well as supervising a staff of training and development specialists who assist with employee instruction. As remote, online instruction becomes more prevalent, chief learning officers are also spending more time overseeing the construction of computer-based training modules. Over the course of a training program, chief learning officers monitor outcomes and make changes when necessary.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual salary for training and development managers was $121,730 in 2018. Most worked in the management of companies and enterprises, where the average annual salary was $131,630. Job growth in the field was expected to increase between 2018 and 2028, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations.

Chief learning officers manage the design and implementation of workplace training programs. They need to have at least a bachelor's degree, but a graduate degree and professional certification can improve job prospects as well.

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