Training and development managers are part of the human resources team that helps to attract, retain and motivate the top employees in the field. They handle the learning and professional development of an organisation’s workforce by helping employees improve skills, which can improve their job satisfaction, lower job turnover, and increase productivity and morale.
Training and development managers are usually responsible for:
Due to a variance in duties and responsibilities, the educational backgrounds of training and development managers vary. A bachelor’s degree is the usual first step to becoming a training and development manager, but many colleges and universities don’t offer a specific degree until the graduate level. Undergraduate courses in training and development, organisational development and human resources management are an advantage. An interdisciplinary background works well in this field, so courses in the social sciences, behavioural sciences and business administration are good choices as well. Computer skills are invaluable, especially for those working on distance learning training programmes. In this field, experience is key for advancement. Most employers look for graduates who have some experience through a work-study programme or internship to fill entry-level positions.
Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended:
• Physical Science
False Bay TVET College
National Certificate: Human Resource Management N4-N6
University of the Witwatersrand
Management and Human Resources Management
National Certificate: N4 – N6 Human Resource Management
Bachelor of Commerce: Business Management (specialising in Human Resources); Bachelor of Technology: Management and Human Resources Management
University of Johannesburg
Diploma: Human Resources Development; Master Certificate: Training and Development
Why did you choose human resources?
I studied psychology and sociology and I found that I really loved the subjects. I wanted to be involved in a job in which I would utilise my knowledge of both subjects, but also make a difference in the corporate sense. All major companies take training seriously, so it was a logical conclusion that I ended up in the training field.
What training did you undergo yourself?
I studied both here and abroad – I went to University of Cape Town after school and did a Bachelor of Social Science, and then I studied further overseas.
What traits should someone in HR possess?
You have to be a confident person because at least two days of your week are spent conducting training on different projects. You also have to make sure you are up to date on new training methodologies. On top of that, human resources is a business partner in a corporate environment, so you have to be good at networking and negotiating with key managers about a variety of HR-related topics.
Is experience as important as formal training?
No, I think that there is definitely a necessity for formal training, specifically tertiary education. I think people learn best when they’ve been taught the theory and have worked on how it fits best in terms of ‘real life’ in case studies and assignments, and then put those ideas into practice.
Describe a typical day on the job
I meet with all the different departments at head office and discuss ways in which I can help them with their training needs. The afternoon is often spent following up on that and meeting with training vendors. On another day I could be working on a project from the start, so really it’s all about project management.
What do you like the most about your work?
I love the humanistic aspect of human resources and the fact that if HR systems run smoothly, and HR is seen as a business partner, everything falls into place.
Any aspects you aren’t enthusiastic about?
I’m not too admin-centric, so sometimes reports can be cumbersome, but it’s all part of the job.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
That would have to be getting this job at Sun International – it’s a company I’ve admired for years and now I can make a difference by working here, and that means a lot to me.
What are your goals for the future?
I really want to keep doing what I’m doing but also beef up my project management skills, as well as my change management skills. They are both really interesting areas to me.