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"I Went From 'I think This Will Work...' to 'Here’s Why This Will Work!'"

Published Tue Sep 27 2022


Who are the more than 4,500 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Matthew Yesko earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2011.


Why did you pursue the CPTD? I had landed a job in training and loved it but knew that I wasn’t formally trained as a trainer. The more I learned about the training space, the more I wanted to learn.

I had evaluated going for my master’s degree; however, my life circumstances didn’t make that a feasible option. I was scrolling through LinkedIn and saw a trainer with the credentials behind their name. I messaged her and asked if she would be willing to speak to me about the credential. She gladly accepted. We spent over an hour discussing her experience. Leaving that discussion, I knew that going for the certification was the right step for me and my family.

Getting the CPTD (at the time, CPLP) was remains a highlight of my career. I learned a lot, built my personal credibility, and continue to use what I learned on the job.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally? Earning the credential helped me feel more confident in my own knowledge and experience. I went from “I think this will work...” to “here’s why this will work!”

How do you think certification helps the talent development field? It’s great that the credential exists. So many trainers I interact with focus on what they think may work or what they’ve been told will work. The credential helps add a scientific-based gravitas to the recommendations and approaches of trainers.


How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential? My employer paid for me to attend the classes, buy the study guides, and take the certification tests.

Since then, I’ve become an entrepreneur and have hired trainers. We always offer to pay for their certifications.

What does having your credential mean to you? I’ve maintained my certification because I worked so hard to earn it. I think it helps me stay grounded in the science and art of training.

How did you get into the talent development field? In my first job out of college, I got into sales. On the first day of the job, I met a sales trainer—Doug Gagnon. I immediately knew that I wanted his job.

It took me six years, but I eventually got to be a manager of sales training.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? A clear conscience is the best pillow.

What is a great book you’ve read recently? Ken Follett’s Century trilogy (all three books)

What is your favorite hobby or pastime? Playing hockey

What is the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? Cheesemaker—an internship at Kraft Foods

Have you earned the APTD or CPTD? Share your story with the community.

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