The Future of Learning and Development

We end with a look forward to where corporate learning and development will go in the coming years. On the whole, trainers are optimistic: they’re excited about new roles, trends, and technology. They envision a future where there are more roles with a heavy integration with technology.


How Will Roles Change in the Next 5 Years?

Like last year, we asked respondents what roles they predicted will be created in the next five years. The most predicted roles centered around technology and working remotely/virtually, and included titles like Virtual Trainer, Virtual Content Developer, and Virtual Classroom Expert. Other titles included supporting AI, such as a Learning Programmer for AI.


As one respondent put it, there will be “...many virtual roles.”


Like last year, a few respondents predicted that there will be roles introduced to facilitate better corporate culture, such as a Happiness at Work Coach.


How Will L&D Trends Change?

We also asked respondents to tell us what they think the next big trend for L&D is. Like with the predicted roles, nearly all respondents predicted trends heavily integrated with technology. Some predictions include:

  • Virtual Learning
  • Immersive Virtual Reality
  • More interactive mobile microlearning
  • Simulation
  • Gamification Expansion
  • Completely Virtual Training
  • AI


A few respondents, however, predicted that learners will come to “crave personal interaction,” resulting in more face-to-face training:

"The L&D buzz is all about virtual training, but participant feedback pushes hard for face-to-face. I think in the next few years, we'll see a resurgence of face-to-face training."


New Technology

If the predicted future roles are any indication, technology will continue to be a large part of learning and development. This includes higher rates of training teams adopting AI, VR, and virtual training.


Technology continues to be the hallmark of younger generations of learners. Current trainers have to balance reaching older learners while appealing to younger digital natives.