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Online Degree Programs for Corporate Trainers

Get info about online programs in corporate training. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online degree programs specifically in corporate training are hard to find, but online bachelor's and master's degree programs in human resource development can teach you the skills needed for this field. These degrees can be earned completely online. Some online bachelor's programs are offered in a degree-completion format, and prospective students must have a certain number of credits prior to enrollment.

Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Development

Online bachelor's degree programs in human resource development are typically designed for professionals who already work in human resources and training; however, they are also open to freshman students with no prior experience in the field. Students gain the knowledge and skills to design, facilitate and manage employee training while also learning traditional human recourse functions, such as employee motivation and retention, recruitment, compensation and benefits. Coursework combines adult training theory with simulations. Topics include instructional design, managing adult learners, performance evaluation and other human resources fundamentals.

Information and Requirements

At the undergraduate level, many online options for human resource development are bachelor's degree completion programs, which allow students to transfer up to 94 credits from former college studies. Courses can be taken online or in a blended-class format where attendance takes place both online and on campus. Students focusing on employee training and development may need to complete in-person presentations or internships; professors use these opportunities to evaluate training techniques and classroom management skills. Programs take anywhere from 2-3 years to complete.

List of Common Bachelor's-Level Human Resource Development Courses

Applicants may find it helpful to have their general education requirements complete before enrolling in an online program so that they may focus on key human resource and employee training courses. Common core courses for this field are described below.

Labor Relations

This class covers employee and labor issues in the United States, including historical and current legal and ethical topics. It also reviews labor relations theory and practice.

Understanding Learning Styles

This course introduces students to the different ways that people learn. Students create training sessions to address different learners' needs.

Managing Adult Learners

Students learn how to impart knowledge to nontraditional adult learners in a classroom environment. Lessons include techniques for managing difficult learners.


Master's Degree in Human Resource Development

Online master's degree programs in human resource development cater to professionals already working in the field and are meant to build upon existing experience. The program prepares students for leadership roles in training management, but may also qualify graduates for positions teaching higher education and providing corporate consulting. Topics include the design and implementation of human resource programs as well as technology solutions. Specializations may be available, but vary by school.

Information and Requirements

Courses are available online through delivery formats that include discussion forums, streaming video and interactive meetings (such as through GoToMeeting or Skype). Programs range from 33-37 credit-hours and can be completed in 1.5-7 years.

List of Common Master's-Level Human Resource Development Courses

Graduate students in an online master's degree program for human resource development are required to complete core classes before taking specialized courses. In most cases, coursework and independent research comes together in a mandatory final thesis project.

Developing Relevant Training

Students learn how to identify and select methods to create training sessions that are relevant to employees' positions. Performance-based training and evaluation techniques are emphasized.

Human Resource Employee Management

This course covers methods for effectively leading human resource staff members. Topics include employee selection, management style, employee motivation and team-building.

Technology and Learning

This course reviews the impact technology has on how information is processed and stored. Students learn to utilize tactics such as games and task replication to facilitate learning.


Career Information

Students who earn a bachelor's degree in human resource development often work as corporate trainers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for training and development specialists was $58,210 in May 2015. Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024. This number is about as fast as the national average for all jobs (www.bls.gov).

Graduates of master's degree programs usually work as human resource development managers and perform or oversee corporate training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for human resource managers was $104,440 in May 2015. The BLS also reports that some of the highest-paying industries hiring for this position that year were management of companies and enterprises; professional, scientific and technical services; and manufacturing.

Specialization Options

If a career as a corporate trainer isn't for you, the field of human resources offers many options for other specializations. Here are some related careers you might want to consider:

  • Benefits manager
  • Compensation manager
  • Labor relations specialist

Continuing Education Information

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Certification Institute and the non-profit trade association CompTIA offer certification for corporate trainers. Both organizations cover core instructor competencies and skills.

Online coursework designed to prepare you for a corporate training career is available through bachelor's and master's degree programs in human resource development. Curriculum focuses on developing skills in the areas of human relations, adult learning and instructional technology.


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