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The APTD Wasn’t "an" Option—It Was "the" Option


Mon Mar 11 2019

The APTD Wasn’t "an" Option—It Was "the" Option

“Where do you work?” is a common question that I love to answer. “I work at a civil engineering firm, but I’m not an engineer!” is my response, which is always met with surprise. I often get stuck on the follow-up, which is usually, “So what do you do then?”

What do I do? I have a background in psychology, and a mother who constantly reminds me to add that I minored in mathematics and statistics. How did I end up in training? How does my degree help me in my career? I, like most training professionals, recognize the importance of understanding human behavior, how people (mainly adults) learn, and what motivates employees in the workplace. But how do I explain that to co-workers, bosses, and the professionals enrolled in classes?


Developing training courses has been challenging, since my background is not in engineering, nor training development and delivery. Being at an engineering firm, I’m surrounded by professional engineers who studied the field in school, worked for years perfecting their trade, and then became officially licensed. I can’t change my degree; but I have four years of experience in training and now an option to substantiate my trade.

When I first found out about the APTD, I was a little apprehensive. Could this really be a way to validate my career and provide me with additional knowledge in training development, delivery, and learning technology? When I finally sat down to analyze the pros and cons of dedicating time to studying and learning the concepts outlined in the exam, the answer was clear: This wasn’t an option—this was the option.

I applied for the exam, set a date, and studied using the APTD Learning System. I read on the train as I commuted the 2.5 hours a day to and from work. I woke up early and stayed up late. I was always reading. I wanted to pass the exam, but I was also excited to apply what I was learning directly into my job. The psychology and statistics that I studied for my undergraduate degree showed up time and time again as I went through the materials. This not only helped to validate my career path, but also showed me that I truly do have a degree in my field.

It’s important to know why you want to pursue the APTD certification. That answer will change for each person, but we all share a lot in common, too. We’ve decided to pursue a career in training—helping others to acquire new skills or refine existing ones. We’re surrounded by learning. I enjoy what I do every day, helping to educate others and advance their careers. Continuing my own learning not only helps me provide impactful training, it also helps me explain to others that I have the knowledge and training to develop and deliver effective courses. The information I gained and the certification I now hold is the beginning of my journey to further substantiate my career, and it has given me the confidence to call myself a true training professional.

Learn more about earning your APTD.


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