Learning lasts for life from the cradle to the grave. There is not a single moment in life when learning stops. Training & Development comes from teaching which itself is a very humanistic profession composed of compassion and showing others that you are concerned about them. Teaching and training are both inherently different concepts and there are multiple points that would stand to differ one from the other, but for a simpler start, lets understand the one major difference that draws the line.
Training is a learning process, one where a person receives instructions and guidelines by a professional or an expert for a specific skill related to their job functions, conducted with the purpose of improving the learners’ performance. Whereas teaching is an academic activity in which a teacher imparts knowledge and concepts to learners to prepare them for future challenges. Development is also explained in a similar way where we develop skills in a profession or future challenges.
Opting for Training & Development as a profession could occur to a person for two usually popular reasons. The first one is for the sake of compassion; a person’s desire for learning, for imparting what they learn onto others in the form of knowledge, skill or helping to develop passion. The second reason is the demand for training professionals, which according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasted to grow by 7% year-on-year until 2024, in line with the average growth of the job market as a whole.
Continuing with the former, which is the desire for learning, a Training and Development Professional can only be successful if they opt for lifelong learning because this process is for eternity. It is all about the ever-occurring change which then drives learning. They are both inevitable and interdependent. Lifelong learners become the bridge that assists learners in their quest to attaining knowledge.
Evidently, training and development itself requires some skills in which a trainer must be good at. The first aspect is good Communication, a skill a trainer must have in the shape of both, oral and written forms. You as a trainer will need to be really good in conversing, public speaking and catching the attention of a large or small group of audience.
Interpersonal skills are the second most important skills that a trainer must have. Having good people skills and being socially perceptive is essential for you to be aware of other peoples’ reactions to be able to adjust your message and approach accordingly, however required by any situation.
Creative thinking is another important skill that can help a training and development professional in designing new training programs and methods to impart knowledge and information. Planning and giving attention to detail will help you in developing complete plans with materials to support your training programs. It is increasingly important for a trainer to have technological skills. A ‘tech savvy’ trainer has an unparalleled advantage on trainers who are not receptive to or comfortable with endorsing newer technology into daily life.
Furthermore, there are certain personality traits that are valuable for this profession. One of them is being an extrovert since trainers are mostly engaged in conducting seminars, answering difficult questions, delivering lectures and constant interaction. The second one is critical thinking and problem solving where you should be creative enough to come up with new ideas to solve various problems. Lastly, improvisation is another integral element, while trainers must be able to plan and pay attention to detail, they also should be able to “think on their feet” and adjust quickly when something unexpected comes up.
Sharing these viewpoints also based on what I learned from my experience remaining in the field for a significant amount of time, I can confidently say that opting for training and development will pay back in ways you would not initially be able to fathom at the beginning of such a profession. Answering the question of why should one ever opt for training and development as a profession, it is for your passion to learn, to educate and encourage individual development