Organizations may want to attract top-tier talent, but they also need to make sure their existing employees are maximizing performance and reaching their full potential. If you’re in human resources and want to take on a more advanced role specializing in training and development – or want to transition into this more niche field – then a master’s degree in training and development online may be the perfect option for you.
What can I do with a master’s in training and development?
A master’s degree in training and development is geared toward professionals who want to improve human performance within an organization, enjoy educating adult learners, and like incorporating technology in their teaching. Every program will be different, but a typical master’s degree in training and development will focus on topics such as:
- Instructional design and development, specifically how to plan, design, and execute learning programs for adults
- Organizational needs analysis
- Adult learning and cognition
- E-learning program delivery
- Talent management
- Change management
- Performance coaching
- Training strategy
There are many career paths available to someone who earns a master’s degree in training and development, including:
- Human resources director
- Training or instructional coordinator
- Recruiting managers
- Compensation analysts
- Career development specialists
- Senior HR specialists
- Training and development manager
- Talent manager
Now that you’ve learned more about master’s in training development degrees, you might want to see some more detailed information about programs and their curriculums. Take a look at the 14 best master’s degree in training and development online programs in our list below!
Is a master’s in training and development worth it?
According to the BLS, the need for training and development specialists is on the rise. The job outlook through 2029 is nine percent, or much faster than the average for all occupations. Many companies require employees to take continuing education and skill development courses, which need training and development specialists to design, plan, and teach them. Also, as innovations in training methods and learning technology continue, organizations will rely on training and development specialists to continue developing online and mobile training programs for their employees.
What are the highest paying jobs with a master’s in training and development?
There are many directions you can go with a master’s in training and development, but here are some career paths to consider (along with their salaries, according to the BLS):
- Human resources manager: $116,720 (2019 median annual salary)
- Human resources specialists: $61,920 (2019 median annual salary)
- Training and development specialists: $61,210 (2019 median annual salary)
While you don’t necessarily need a master’s degree for human resources roles or training and development specialist roles, an advanced degree could give you an edge in the field. A master’s degree in training and development online shows you have the specialized knowledge required to train adult learners and maximize workplace performance – an in-demand skill that can help a company make the most of its talent and increase employee retention.
Ready to start thinking about the next step and take a look at some school options? We’ve created a list of the best master’s degree in training and development online programs based on two criteria: graduate enrollment (highest number of students is best) and tuition cost per credit (least expensive is best). Explore our ranking below!
Best 14 Master’s Degree in Training and Development Online
1. North Carolina State University – Online Master of Training and Development Degree Program (25 points)
North Carolina State University offers an Online Master of Training and Development Program that is designed for students who want a career committed to improving human performance in organizations. The program is geared towards professionals who work as program managers, instructional designers, trainers in a variety of industries, including business, education, military, industry, and non-profit. No thesis is required, and the curriculum includes an overview of human resources development knowledge and practice skills, as well as program design, management, and development skills.
- Tuition per credit: $462
- Enrollment: 10,280
2. Arizona State University – Online Master of Education in Learning Design and Technologies (21 points)
Arizona State University offers an Online Master of Education in Learning Design and Technologies that teaches students advanced theories of learning, development, and design of competency-based instructional materials. Students learn how to design, develop, and evaluate learning structures in a wide spectrum of settings, including industry and business. In addition to applying theories in projects that present real-world challenges, students learn the fundamentals of learning design and technology with classes like Modalities of Learning, Issues in Online and Distance Education, and Evaluation of Learning Systems.
- Tuition per credit: $471
- Enrollment: 8,741
2. Ball State University – Master’s Degree in Adult and Community Education (21 points)
Ball State University offers a Master’s Degree in Adult and Community Education that is available online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. This program is one of the few in the nation that has a strong community education focus, preparing students to plan, implement, design, and evaluate education programs for adults. Rather than taking tests, students do projects, such as evaluating programs in their own workplaces, as a way to bridge theory and real-world experiences. Up to thirty credits of this program can be transferred into Ball State’s EdD in adult and community education.
- Tuition per credit: $449
- Enrollment: 5,724
4. University of Georgia – Master of Learning, Leadership & Organization Development (19 points)
University of Georgia offers an online Master of Learning, Leadership & Organization Development that teaches students how to create adult learning programs that help individuals, teams, and organizations perform at their maximum potential. The curriculum emphasizes communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and interpersonal and organizational skills in addition to theory around developing healthy, sustainable organizations. Graduates leave as masters of several subjects, including coaching, customized training, talent management, adult learning, change management, customized training, and more.
- Tuition per credit: $629
- Enrollment: 9,041
5. Pittsburg State University – Master of Science in Human Resource Development program (17 points)
Pittsburg State University offers an online Master of Science in Human Resource Development that prepares students to pursue advanced human resources roles such as trainers, organizational development (OD) practitioners, or instructional designers. This program blends theory with real-world application from the start, allowing students to gain experiential learning in one of two tracks: Leadership and Organization Development (LOD) or Learning and Development (LD). LOD is suited for students who want to help organizations and individuals develop, while LD is suited for those who want to design and execute training programs in their organizations. Graduates go on to become human resource directors, recruiting managers, compensation analysts, career specialists, senior HR specialists, and more.
- Tuition per credit: $364
- Enrollment: $1,123
6. Clemson University – Masters of Human Resource Development (MHRD) (16 points)
Clemson University offers an online Masters of Human Resource Development (MHRD) that teaches students how to become adult educators who solve common challenges in today’s workplace, including areas like leadership, strategy, ethics, adult education, and diversity. Graduates of this program pursue careers in several fields, including training, learning, and development; strategic HRD; and individual and organizational performance improvement across the business, non-profit, education, and government sectors. This program also offers a special intercollegiate athletic option for students interested in the field.
- Tuition per credit: $519
- Enrollment: 5,282
6. Boise State University – MS Degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (16 points)
Boise State University offers an online MS Degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning that prepares students to work in several areas in the field, including instructional design, e-learning, workplace performance improvement, training and development, organizational development, performance consulting, and program evaluation. Students can earn this degree in as few as twelve months, and there is a thesis option. Classes include Principles of Adult Learning, Instructional Design, Quantitative Research in Organizations, and more.
- Tuition per credit: $500
- Enrollment: 3,471
8. Tennessee Tech University – Master’s of Professional Studies: Training & Development Concentration (14 points)
Tennessee Tech University offers an online Master’s of Professional Studies: Training & Development Concentration that readies students for careers in the growing field of workplace training and development. The curriculum focuses on a blend of practical and theoretical knowledge and skills, including project planning, instructional design, development, organizational needs analysis, adult learning and cognition, and delivery/evaluation in a traditional and virtual environment. The degree also consists of a certificate in Training and Development.
- Tuition per credit: $431
- Enrollment: 1,180
9. Drexel University – Online Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development (13 points)
Drexel University offers an Online Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development that trains students to become strategic partners to organizational leaders by maximizing workplace performance, learning, and change. This degree is geared toward professionals focused on the strategic aspects of human resources, such as employee retention, training, organizational development, career development, and mentoring. Students learn from instructors who are leading researchers in the field while benefiting from the flexibility of a 100% online class format.
- Tuition per credit: $1,007
- Enrollment: 8,910
10. Pennsylvania State University – Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) in Organization Development and Change (12 points)
PennState offers an online Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) in Organization Development and Change geared towards professionals in fields like corporate development, talent management, and performance improvement. This program teaches with an international focus, ensuring that students see organizational challenges within a global context while also emphasizing the importance of technology in implementing change. In addition to taking courses in organizational development, students create portfolios and collections of work samples that they can show potential employers.
- Tuition per credit: $936
- Enrollment: 6,112
11. Middle Tennessee State University – Master of Professional Studies (MPS) (11 points)
Middle Tennessee State University offers an online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) that prepares students for more advanced roles as workplace trainers or corporate course developers. It also prepares students to teach adults in a corporate training environment or online environment. Aimed at working professionals who want to accelerate their careers, this program offers the opportunity to specialize in two electives from the six areas: HR law; workplace diversity; human resources management; project planning and scheduling; engaging adult online learners; and e-training advanced instructional design.
- Tuition per credit: $746
- Enrollment: 2,379
12. University of St. Francis – Training and Development (MS) (9 points)
University of St. Francis offers an online Training and Development (MS) that provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to become leaders in training and development, e-learning, and talent development. Graduates pursue roles in these fields across the corporate, human resources, non-profit, and healthcare sectors. Six concentrations are available for a more customized path of study: Self-design; Health Administration; Business Administration; Human Resource Management; Instructional Design in Online Learning; and Management of Training & Development.
- Tuition per credit: $748
- Enrollment: 2,298
13. University of Wisconsin-Stout – M.S. Training and Human Resource Development (9 points)
University of Wisconsin-Stout offers an online MS Training and Human Resource Development aimed at students who want to make a career out of maximizing human and organizational performance. The curriculum focuses on developing four core competencies, which include: leading the learning function; improve human performance in an organizational context; facilitate organizational change; and manage organizational knowledge. Graduates take on a variety of careers, including technical trainer, instructional designer, learning and development manager, leadership development specialist, and internal/external consultant.
- Tuition per credit: $586
- Enrollment: 1,193
14. Roosevelt University – Master’s in Training and Development (7 points)
Roosevelt University offers an online Master’s in Training and Development that can be completed in just twelve months. This graduate program is the only one mapped to the 2014 Association for Talent Development Competency Model (ASTD), considered the standard of excellence in the field. Sample courses include Training Delivery, E-learning Design, Training Evaluation, Coaching for Talent Development, Training Strategy and Leadership, Performance Consulting, and Instructional Systems Design. Alumni of this program have gone on to work at employers including American Airlines, LinkedIn, Motorola, Merck, Northwestern, ADP, and more.
- Tuition per credit: $926
- Enrollment: 1,816
Want to see additional online master’s degrees in training and development? Try out our Degree Finder tool to explore more schools and programs that might fit your goals.
Our Ranking Methodology
For our rankings, we generated a list based on each school’s per-credit tuition rates (in-state where applicable) and graduate enrollment rates. First, we sorted by tuition rates and then by graduate enrollment rates. Points were assigned to each school and added together for a final ranking score.
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