11 April

Types of certifications that benefit Learning and Development Careers

Gaining a recognised accreditation helps to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to potential employers and gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace. In the modern workplace a job for life is rare, and even if you stay in the same role technology is constantly changing so upskilling and getting new qualifications is part of lifelong learning that keeps your skills relevant and validates your existing experience, it can also open up new opportunities for career changes as well as being important for your own personal growth and development.

Within L&D there are many different strands and certifications that cover a range of areas including 

  • Design and Development of Learning
  • Instruction and Facilitating
  • HR
  • Project Management

With so many different types of learning and development certifications available, it can be hard to choose the right one for you.

Get professionally certified in instructional design and learning technology in 2023

Why is proper certification in Learning and Development needed?

As companies grow their L&D departments scale with them, and as more people join the need for a learning programme for L&D itself becomes greater. By having accredited training in place companies can ensure consistent approaches and processes across L&D. It isn’t just about using agreed technologies and tools, our students have also reported improved communication between departments as HR, design and developers not only use the same tools but learn to speak the same language when it comes to the design of learning.

Accredited training delivers trusted training and specific skills for existing employees and is also a crucial part of onboarding new employees. Providing good training also helps build a positive company culture where people feel supported and that they have the skills necessary to do their jobs. Having an accredited training programme can help to retain employees as well as attract better candidates for new positions as it shows a commitment to supporting people in their career progression.

For individuals gaining an accredited qualification gives proof of skills as well as showing potential for learning and a commitment to the industry, this can be vital in a competitive job market, especially for people who are new to the industry and haven’t had the opportunity to build up significant specific experience. Proof of transferable skills and the ability to show potential is always important during the job selection process, however, a recognised certification can give extra assurance to employers particularly if it shows familiarity and attainment in the design processes and technological tools that they are using within their company.

Different types of Certifications

There are many different certifications that can help you become better qualified in learning and development. You can choose from a wide range of learning options that suit your career goals and experience. 

Digital Learning Design

The process of developing digital learning experiences and materials is known as digital learning design. It includes everything from figuring out the learner’s needs to planning, developing, and deploying the courseware. At the Digital Learning Institute we offer certified training in Digital Learning Design through our Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design which is ideal for learners who have a general understanding of the field and would like to gain deeper knowledge. It is aimed at Corporate learning professionals, Instructional designers, e-learning developers or anyone looking to change their career to digital learning. The diploma covers a broad overview of how to create a digital learning experience but also provides specific skills in certain topics such as instructional design theory, design of high-impact of learning experiences, and working with SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) as well as giving guidance and training in how to use the latest software and digital tools

 Instructional Design

The construction of educational materials can be summed up as instructional design. However, Instructional Design goes beyond merely producing instructional materials, it also uses design methodology and theory to develop different learning experiences and uses tools and strategies that enable the most effective learning. Getting a Professional Certification in Instructional design can be a good way to get a foothold in the industry or validate your existing experience. 

At the Digital Learning Institute we offer a  Professional Certificate in Instructional Design. Completion of this course will certify you as an Instructional Designer and will show you how to design, build and roll out high quality eLearning with a focus on storyboarding, working with SMEs and building eLearning prototypes.  Accredited by Glasgow Caledonian University and endorsed by industry leaders this is the ideal course for people who want to focus on the specific theory and tools needed to become an  Instructional Designer. 

the different types of certificates at the digital learning institute

Project Management

Having proper project management training is beneficial for building a whole team.

Project Management is a key skill for anyone building a team or managing a project and having an understanding of project management theory is useful for anyone working on a project even if they are not leading it. With this in mind getting a formal qualification in Project Management can be useful and also help your career progression. 

One of the main awarding bodies for project management is the Project Management Institute (PMI) which offers a range of qualifications including Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP). These qualifications provide a good framework for practicing project management. Other qualifications like PRINCE2, Agile or Scrum focus more on specific project management methodologies and processes.  

There are a variety of project management qualifications out there, so it is definitely worth doing your research and considering your level of experience and career goals before you make a choice, but whatever you decide learning more about project management will be a valuable addition to your skill set.

Human Resources 

Human resources is another area that is always worth expanding your knowledge in. Even if you are not directly working in HR as you progress in your career you may have increased responsibility for managing people. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are the recognised accrediting body for HR and offers a range of courses from a Foundation Certificate in People Practice to an Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management.

Specialty certifications

Alongside the recognised areas within  L&D like HR, Learning Design and Project Management there are also many areas of specialist focus that have their own credentials associated with them. Obtaining qualifications in more niche areas can help you move from an L&D generalist to an expert or specialist and may help you to progress further on your chosen career path.

These areas might be focused on a particular skill like immersive learning or agile project management or cover a topic area like accessibility standards. 

Two areas we focus on at the Digital Learning Institute are how digital learning increases accessibility and we study the core accessibility standards and principles along with digital learning design as part of our  Professional Certificate in Universal Design. This 8-week online course will certify you as a Universal Designer with a globally recognised and industry-approved qualification. The course is designed to enhance your understanding of how digital learning can be inclusive through accessibility and how to use design inclusive digital experiences.

Another specialist area we have recently launched a certification in is the technology of immersive learning, our  Professional Certificate in Immersive Learning is designed to define the role of immersive learning and show its application in a learning experience. During this 8-week online course, you will explore the design, development, and deployment processes for immersive learning and practice the latest immersive tools for designing learning experiences.

How to choose the right certification for your career

When it comes to deciding on how to improve your skills and enhance your career prospects, certified training offers a great solution, but with so many different courses out there it is really important to do your research.

Firstly think about your own career goals and the skills you currently have, what are you working towards, where do you have existing or transferable skills and where are skills gaps that additional learning could help close.

Think about your dream role or companies you aspire to work for and research job descriptions of what they are seeking. It is also useful to make connections with people in your chosen industry and ask what resources and training they have found useful, as well what attributes and skills they value among the people they work with. 

Also, be realistic about your own lifestyle, the time you have available and what sort of learning will fit in with your life that allows you to keep progressing towards your goals.

Why build a career in Learning and Development

Despite the recent tech crunch, L&D is an industry that is thriving and struggling to keep up with demand. As the workplace has changed and hybrid and remote working have become the norm, the demand for digital learning professionals who can design and deliver learning experiences in multiple formats to a decentralised workforce has skyrocketed and is showing no sign of slowing down. 

Our certifications are designed to be cutting-edge and teach our students the latest techniques and technologies in learning. They will help you build a better understanding of how to design and implement digital learning solutions, as well as help you understand how to analyse the impact of your work.

Our Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design provides a thorough education in design principles as well as a practical guide to designing engaging learning experiences. Accredited by GCU and endorsed by industry leaders, this qualification will demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to potential employers, and give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.