Written by: Leigh Perkins // Jul 6, 2021
Last updated: Jan 17, 2023
If your company is one of the 83% of organizations planning or already offering corporate training programs this year, your participation could put you on the pathway to advancement. You’ll gain new competencies and a competitive advantage for promotions. But how do you determine which professional development course and structure will be the best fit for your career? Compare traditional and emerging types of corporate training programs that can help you build the skills you need for the workplace of the future.
Upskilling Can Supercharge Your Career
When you take on training opportunities, you are upgrading your skills, displaying agility, and adapting to a rapidly transforming marketplace. You’re also keeping up with your colleagues and competition. Look at the tech sector: One study found that 87% of IT professionals have at least one certification. Most have more.
More broadly, Gallup reports a remarkable 87% of millennials rate professional growth and development as important to them in considering a job. Almost 70% of the rest of the workforce feels the same.
But does it really pay to keep pace with upskilling? Here are three examples proving that it does:
- Employees with the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification earn salaries that are 26% higher than those who are not certified.
- Global Knowledge reports that 20% of IT staff received a raise or a promotion after earning a certification and the quality of their work improved.
- Adding Spanish language skills to your resume offers a 1.5% premium on your investment.
Professional Training Pays off for Your Company, Too
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For provide, on average, 73 hours of training each year for full-time employees. The standard in corporate America is just 38 hours. The same Fortune 100 companies had 65% less staff turnover than other companies.
Professional services company Accenture did the ROI math. It reports that training and development provides a 353% return. For every $1 invested in professional development, companies receive $4.53.
Beyond the financial return is a long list of intangibles. Professional training increases productivity, enhances information sharing, fosters consistency of protocols and practices, aids in conversion of skill adjacencies to meet new staffing needs, develops in-house potential, accelerates innovation, and strengthens your reputation as an employee-nurturing organization. If your company has been slow to support employee education initiatives, encourage HR to learn more about its many benefits.
Choose a Format that Suits Your Needs
This revolutionary era in educational innovation is an exciting time to start building your digital portfolio of credentials and certifications. You may find your style of learning is aligned with fully online instruction, a popular and highly effective format. Within the online structure are live online, self-paced, and hybrid formats.
If you learn best in a collaborative setting with a stand-and-deliver, in-person lecturer, you might be more engaged in a traditional classroom setting. You could take these courses as an individual enrollee or as part of a company training group. Many organizations offer corporate training for groups on-site, either at your company or on a campus.
Delivery is only one consideration. So is time commitment. You might choose a one-day seminar, a lecture series, a weekend conference, lunch-and-learn training, a weeklong immersion, or a months-long certification program. Your options may be determined by your company. If they prefer in-house programs, you automatically eliminate the time of traveling to a training site, but you might have limited choices. If they reimburse your costs, you can opt for any professional development program that suits your career goals, schedule, and learning style.
Six Types of Corporate Training Programs
It’s time to explore your options for mastering new skills in six popular and career-changing professional development and executive education categories.
6. Business Skills Training
Learn foundational skills you need to perform your job or add-on training to update your competencies related to your firm’s operations and technology. These courses also often offer transferable skills for your industry in general:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
- Spreadsheet proficiency
- Data analysis
- Business analysis
- Digital marketing
- Content management
- Safety protocols
- Process improvement
5. Soft Skills Training
Loosely defined, soft skills are relationship, communication, and emotion-based skills, distinct from technical expertise known as hard skills. Conventional wisdom says your hard skills on your résumé will get you the interview; your soft skills in person (or on Zoom) will get you the job. Fortunately, there are many soft skills programs that can help you win the job:
- Spanish language training
- Customer service
- Emotional intelligence and situational leadership
- Team building
- Creative problem solving
- Persuasive communication
- Interpersonal communications
- Diversity and inclusion training
- Adaptability in business
- Motivating people for performance
- Conflict resolution
- Servant leadership
4. Technology Training
A study by Gartner found that 80% of employees lack the skills they need for their current roles and for their future jobs. Often, this means keeping up to date with technology. From industry-specific software training to certificate-track UX or app development, there is a wide range of professional education programs to advance your digital skills:
- Coding bootcamp
- Ethical hacking
- Basic IT hygiene
- Software training (Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Google Analytics)
- Microlearning to fill skills gap
- Desktop computing skills
- UX/UI design
- Extended/virtual reality applications
- Digital transformation
- Artificial intelligence training
- Machine learning applications
- Software engineering
3. Cybersecurity Protocols
Specialized training is critical to maintain skills in the area of cyber safety. But the threats are constantly evolving, so your skills must evolve, too. Technology training can be anything from a small-group tutorial on protecting your company’s sensitive information to an industry-recognized official certification program:
- Cybersecurity essentials
- Advanced cybersecurity bootcamps
- Cybersecurity for nontechnical executives
- Basic online security awareness
- Risk management
- Information security
- Cloud security
- Threat detection and response
- Auditing/IT compliance
2. Industry Certification
Advancing your skills to earn a professional certification can set you apart from the competition by highlighting your expertise and adding prestige to your bio. Even when a certificate is not required by your company, earning one (or more) adds value to your entire organization by establishing your ability to meet industry benchmarks, boosting productivity, and confirming your adherence to professional standards:
- Business analysis
- Human resources/SHRM certified/senior certified professional
- Lean Six Sigma
- Project management/PMP
- Digital marketing
- Supply chain
- Accounting (CPA, CFA)
- Healthcare (LPN, CN)
- Construction and building inspector
- Insurance (CLU)
1. Leadership Training
If you have your eye on the C-suite or you’re already in an executive role, you need critical qualities like high-level fiscal responsibility, innovation, ethics, communications, negotiation, and strategic thinking. Fortunately, there are many leadership training programs to prepare you for success:
- Diversity training for executives
- Emotional intelligence
- Situational leadership
- Executive communication
- Women in leadership
- Performance leadership
- Positive leadership
- Data-driven leadership
- Negotiations and conflict management
- Executive decision making
- Emerging leader development
- Marketing leadership training
- Leading people and teams
- Strategic innovation
- Global business leadership
- Agile leadership
- Executive coaching/career planning
- Leading change
- Design thinking for executives
USF’s Professional Development Courses Prepare You for the Future
If you are ready to take advantage of your organization’s tuition reimbursement program or expand your company’s training options, Corporate Training and Professional Education at USF offers market-relevant and cost-effective programs to meet your needs. Designed for busy professionals, our live online and self-paced online offerings include certification programs and standalone courses that can push your career or company above and beyond.