Entry Level Job Profile Corporate
Equivalent Job Titles Instructor (Non-Credit
This profession can be different from teaching in K-12 or college.
First of all, you might not actually be working for the organization
whose employees you are training. Many corporate trainers work
for professional training firms that bring in trainers to a
corporation on an as-needed basis. Secondly, in corporate training
(or when teaching non-credit courses), you are not required
to grade the students on their performance. The emphasis is
usually on learning specific skills in a short time frame or
preparing to take a certification examination. Time is money
at a corporation, so training needs to be accomplished quickly
and efficiently so the valuable employees can get back to work.
This is more of a job than a career. No one expects you to
publish, do research or advise students. You are just coming
in to teach a specific set of objectives on a given day (or
days) and then leave. Working for a training company that provides
corporate training can also involve a lot of travel. A typical
week could be:
- Sunday afternoon flight to Baltimore from Boston
- Monday and Tuesday training in Baltimore
- Tuesday night flight to Chicago
- Wednesday training session in Chicago
- Thursday morning flight to Tucson
- Thursday evening and Friday training session in Tucson
- Red-eye flight back home to Boston Friday evening
- Saturday and Sunday training session to prepare for next
weeks seminar in Atlanta
Is every week going to be like this? Probably not, but things
can get hectic in the corporate training arena. Oh, I forgot
to mention that all of the above seminars were on different
topics! You need to be adaptable to keep up in this environment.
So buy a sturdy suitcase and a lot of permanent press clothing
going to need them!
There are positive aspects to these types of jobs. You are
constantly meeting new people, since students in training classes
are seldom with you for more than a one-week period. You receive
constant exposure to new and different technologies as you continually
teach different courses.
Compensation Varies widely depending upon the
size of the organization, level of skill you possess and the
complexity of the course material being taught. $250 to $400
per day is a reasonable range for new trainers. $400 per day
sounds pretty significant, but keep in mind, you probably will
not be working 5 days a week every week of the year.
Education In these types of roles, teaching
ability and practical knowledge are more highly valued than
college degrees. Although four-year college degrees are preferred,
you may be able to land instructional jobs without them if you
are a good presenter and have exceptional IT skills.
Responsibilities Working for a corporate trainer
or teaching non-credit courses involves the following tasks:
- Reviewing course material for upcoming assignments
You may do five seminars in a two-week period that
are all on different topics. Preparation time therefore can
take a significant portion of your day.
- Run training seminars Obviously, you have
- Participate in the preparation of course materials
Normally, course materials are provided for you in
corporate training or non-credit teaching. However, you may
be involved in a project where materials have to be developed
from scratch to meet a specific corporate need or objective.
- Set-up of computer labs Equipment must often
be reconfigured in between labs. Although some companies employ
lab aides to do lab set-ups for the instructors, not all do.
Skills Successful corporate trainers possess
the following attributes:
- Solid Time Management Skills Running from
seminar to seminar while preparing to teach them (often on
airplane flights) requires skillfully budgeting your time.
- Fast Learner Since you are constantly exposed
to new situations and seminar material, you need to be able
to grasp the material you will be teaching very quickly.
- Stamina Whether you are traveling every week
or just teaching new courses every week in your hometown,
you will need to possess a great deal of stamina to keep up
with the demands of learning new material.
- Flexibility Missed plane flights, non-working
equipment, learning materials lost in the mail are just some
of the stressful situations that corporate trainers can encounter.
You must be flexible, easily adaptable and even-tempered to
deal creatively with these types of challenges.
- Mastery of Skill-based Teaching In most instances,
you will be teaching a skill. Perhaps you are training office
clerical workers on the latest version of Microsoft Word.
Or maybe you are teaching a group of COBOL programmers the
Java language. In either instance, your students need to master
a specific skill set and get back to work ASAP. Therefore,
the teaching is very focused and directed towards achieving
specific goals, as opposed to being a broad-based problem
- Sense of Humor Humor is necessary to diffuse
the tension in a corporate trainers life. The ability
to laugh at oneself and bring appropriate humor into teaching
presentations makes the instructor seem more human. This helps
put learners at ease.
- Enthusiasm It can be tough to be enthusiastic
though when you just got off an overnight flight and have
to head straight to the training session! You have to be a
special type of person to be able to maintain enthusiasm when
you are extremely tired.
Experimenting With This Profession Many institutions
depend heavily upon part-time instructors to teach a large percentage
of their non-credit courses. Also, many corporate training firms
hire trainers on a part-time or consulting basis. This is especially
true in IT since high salaries are luring instructors away from
schools and into industry. Therefore, you should be able to
land a job teaching non-credit classes at a local college on
a part-time basis. This will give you the opportunity to test
your teaching ability without making a full-time commitment
to the profession.
Teaching can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. But
like any other job, it has its share of frustrations. The biggest
benefit of a teaching career is that you can immediately see
the impact you are having on society
or at least those
members of society in your classes that you help to learn.