Why This Matters


    Job opportunities for human resources and development personnel exist across many industries, including education, business, government, and more.


    Employment of training and development managers is expected to grow at a faster-than-average pace over the next decade, with an estimated 3,100 new jobs expected.


    The median annual salary for training and development managers is $111,340, compared to $60,870 for bachelor’s-level training and development specialists.

Our Research

We concentrated our research on master’s-level programs with an emphasis on training and development. The three most common types of graduate degrees in this area are Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

To qualify for this list, programs had to be delivered primarily or completely online to ensure access for the greatest number of students. Some programs allow students to take both online and on-campus classes, depending on their specific needs and schedule.

The programs on our list are offered at regionally accredited institutions. Many programs also have programmatic accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

We evaluated each program’s reputation, outcomes, flexibility, faculty, and cost. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 83 hours to write this article
  • 136 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 435 education programs we compared

The Top 16 Online Master’s in Training and Development Degree Programs

Best Online Master's in Training and Development Degree Programs

What You Should Know About This Degree

Many industries employ training and development professionals as a way to increase employee efficiency, educate employees in new technologies and skills, and develop talent within organizations. Therefore, it’s beneficial for training and development professionals to have some familiarity with the industry in which they plan on working, whether it’s government, business, education, nonprofits, or another field. You can obtain this experience through undergraduate education, on-the-job training, or a concentration as part of your master’s program.

Training and development managers need a range of aptitudes, including leadership, communication, instructional, and collaboration skills. A master’s in training and development will help you hone these skills, but before pursuing a degree, it’s important to consider whether you have the inherent qualities needed for success in this occupation.

Beyond education in a degree program, a number of professional organizations offer further training opportunities and certifications, including the Association for Talent Development and the International Society for Performance Improvement. While voluntary, professional certifications can demonstrate your expertise and experience to potential employers. Be aware that obtaining extra training and certifications is typically an extra commitment of time and money.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Training and Development programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? While most programs accept students from all backgrounds, some specifically seek applicants who have educational or professional experience in human resources or a related field. Prior to applying, be sure to review the program’s application requirements to confirm that you meet the minimum qualifications for admissions.
  • Are GMAT or GRE scores required? Find out if the programs you are applying to require standardized test scores, like the GMAT or GRE, as part of the application process. If you need to take these exams, you should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible, as it can take several weeks to process your scores.

Now is also the time to gather your application materials and confirm deadlines for application submissions. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or you can contact their admissions department if you have any questions.

You should also consider your options for financing your graduate degree, including student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and grants. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.