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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Programs in Training and Performance Improvement

Majors Overview June 10, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in training and performance improvement and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Training and Performance Improvement

Graduates of master’s degree programs in training and performance (a specialty area within human resource development) are normally awarded a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Training and Performance Improvement. The focus of Master of Science (M.S.) programs is typically on training and development in the workplace. The emphasis in Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs is on training and improvement in educational settings. Both individuals who aspire to enter the field and current human resource development professionals could benefit by enrolling in the program.

Master’s programs are devised to teach enrolled students strategies, techniques, and technologies that can help plan training curriculum, present information in trainings, evaluate trainee success and increase productivity. Many masters’ programs offer courses in online, on-campus or hybrid formats.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria relating to most master’s degree programs in training and performance require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In many schools, applicants for admission are also required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.


Students are required to earn about 36 credits before they can complete master’s degree programs in training and performance. Interactive program coursework incorporates practical experiences in organizational training and development, in addition to training in technology used to improve the performance of organizations and individuals. Core coursework may covers topic areas such as:

•Facilitation strategies in applied technology and training
•Developing a work-based curriculum in career and technical education
•Roles of career and technical education professionals
•Effective presentation methods
•Curriculum design and instructional resources

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek job positions with:

•Government agencies
•Educational institutions
•Nonprofit organizations
•Healthcare organizations
•Community groups

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, about 228,800 individuals were employed in specialist jobs in training, human resources and labor relations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The level of training and experience, in addition to the location and size of the employer, can determine the wages for these occupations. In May 2012, training and development specialists brought in an average annual wage of $55,930 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continued education by enrolling in a doctorate program in the same or similar field. They may also seek continuing education opportunities through professional organizations such as the American Society for Training and Development and the Society for Human Resource Management.

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