Transitioning from Teaching to Corporate Training

by | Nov 15, 2023

Transitioning from teaching to corporate training seems like an obvious choice for many teachers seeking a career change. But what are the differences to consider? And how do you get your foot in the door and land one of these jobs?

What is a Corporate Trainer?

 A corporate trainer is a teacher who works in a professional setting for a corporation or some other professional entity. Their job is to train employees within the company to promote their growth and development, and ultimately, to do their jobs better.

Corporate trainers will likely employ many of the same strategies used by classroom teachers. They will assess needs and learning gaps; develop curriculum, learning objectives, and targets; decide on the best methods for delivering content; prepare; facilitate workshops, seminars, or other learning events; and evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching.

How Can I Become a Corporate Trainer?

It is difficult to step directly from a classroom into a corporate trainer role. The main reason this is difficult is that teachers are experts in teaching children. Corporate trainers must become fluent in adult learning theory, or andragogy.

Do I need a degree in Adult Learning Theory?

The simple answer is, no. You can learn a great deal about Adult Learning Theory by taking a LinkedIn Learning or Coursera course. These will give you the basics.

If you want to really stand out from the crowd of people applying for corporate trainer roles (because, trust me, there is a crowd trying to move into these roles), then consider becoming a member of the Association for Talent Development. This is the most highly recognized association for corporate trainers. You can start with a simple course in Adult Learning Theory or dive in and get your Adult Learning Certificate. (Although these are not free, they are much cheaper than going back for another degree, which is generally not needed in the corporate world.)

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

Firstly, if you are the teacher on your team who does not want to deliver a 10-minute speech to parents at back-to-school night, being a corporate trainer is not for you! Why not? Corporate trainers must be comfortable speaking to a roomful of adults. 

Secondly, corporate trainers are needed where the employees are. Some fully remote companies might hire a fully remote trainer, but most trainers will need to be in the office at least some of the time. Travel may also be involved.

Finally, corporate trainers are needed in all sectors – from EdTech to law offices. Don’t limit yourself. If this role interests you, consider looking outside of education companies for opportunities as well.


Want help with this? Consider my Preparing for Change course. This course introduces you to over a dozen roles in the corporate world and is designed to help you determine what roles fit your interests, passions, and work-life needs. Or join my Facebook group for transitioning teachers. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to learn more about upcoming events.


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