21-30-Year-Old Aspiring Corporate Leaders, Part 2

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21-30-Year-Old Aspiring Corporate Leaders, Part 2

Costs associated with leadership training range from $1,000 to $5,000, with methods like one-on-one coaching and formal training touted as the most expensive. These findings were gleaned from leadership training service providers such as A Better Leader, Rapport Leadership, and People Performance Solutions. This brief also includes findings from The Training Magazine's 2019 Training Industry Report and recruiting site RecruitGyan.
Unfortunately, the research team was unable to find any relevant data specific to how much aspiring young leaders aged 21–30 years are willing to pay to resolve their leadership development challenges and achieve their desired career trajectory.

In-Person Training

  • A Better Leader, a player in the leadership training services industry, opines that in-person training is the most effective type of leadership training. To this end, the training company estimates that the training costs for mid-level management, where young leaders may fall, may be around $150 to $200 per hour.
  • Rapport Leadership, another practitioner, notes that one-on-one coaching, another form of in-person training, may cost anywhere between $75 to $500 per hour, depending on leaders' needs and complexity of training.

On-Site Immersive Training

  • A Better Leader estimates that on-site training may cost about $1,000 per day. Rapport Leaderships ups the cost to $1,500 per day, noting that on-site training is immersive and involves "multi-day" leadership programs.

Formal Training

  • According to Rapport Leadership, formal learning as a form of leadership training may cost the leader anywhere between $1,500 to $4,000. A Better Leader pegs this figure at $3,000.

Online Training

  • According to RecruitGyan, there are several online training platforms open to leaders. These include Coursera, whose leadership courses cost between $29 and $99, as well as Udemy whose programs/courses cost between $20 and $200. RecruitGyan also lists Class Central that offer free training but charge for certifications and mentorship.
  • A Better Leader charges $450 a month for its online leadership training courses that are open to an "unlimited number" of employees in a company. Research did not come across other estimations for online training costs from both training providers or the industry in general.

Training Industry Reports

  • The 2019 Training Industry report found that on average, companies spent approximately $1,286 on training per person. This is a $300 increase from 2018. The industry that spent the most dollars per person was the not-for-profit sector ($1,889), followed by the manufacturing sector at $1,781. The research team safely assumed that the training included leadership training.
  • People Performance Solutions reports that 68% of companies spent less than $4,000 on training per person in 2017. 18% spent between $4,000 and $7,000, while only 8% spent $10,000 and above per person that year.
The most preferred channels or modes of delivery for leadership training programs are online platforms, in-person instructors (including coaching), and action learning that includes on-the-job training and real work simulations. Findings in this brief were repeatedly mentioned across articles, analyses, and reports by reputable authorities in the leadership development and training space, such as Harvard Business Review, The Training Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Chief Learning Officer, Forbes, and McKinsey. These represent sentiments and findings from the general leadership pool, as the research team was not able to find data specific to aspiring corporate leaders aged 21-30 in the US.

In-Person Training

  • At 74%, Chief Learning Officer cites in-person training as the most favored form of leadership development training among leaders and organizations.
  • Executive coaching, another form of in-person training, came in at 63%. Forbes, on the other hand, found that only 20% of young leaders favored coaching, as executive coaching appeared expensive for these "high potential millennial leaders".
  • The 2019 Training Industry Report found that 40.3% of the total training hours delivered that year was through in-person training.

Action Learning

  • HBR defines action learning as "web-based case discussions and customized opportunities" that leaders use to address real-life challenges they face in their leadership. SHRM adds that action learning includes cross-functional job rotation and in some cases, external coaching. According to Chief Learning Officer, 50% of leaders and organizations use action learning in leadership development training.
  • McKinsey adds that while 10% of leaders retain lessons from classroom training, a whole two-thirds, or approximately 66% retain "what they learn by doing". The consulting firm asserts that action learning "ties leadership development to real on-the-job projects that have a business impact and improves learning". On young "burgeoning" leaders, the firm adds, " burgeoning leaders, no matter how talented, often struggle to transfer even their most powerful off-site experiences into changed behavior on the front line".

Online Training

  • Harvard Business Review (HBR) refers to the rise of the personal learning cloud that includes a "fast-growing array of online courses, interactive platforms, and digital tools". This, the article continues to state, has reshaped leadership development training due to its highly "personalized, socialized, contextualized, and trackable" learning approach.
  • HBR considers online training "flexible and immediately accessible" which enables readers to pick and choose skills pertinent to their current or desired career path. According to the article, millennial leaders are "already comfortable" with social media, pointing to a potential preference for online training.
  • Chief Learning Officer found that 62% of organizations employ online platforms and methods during training. The Training Magazine's 2019 study that found 30% of interviewed leaders and companies preferred online training to other forms of training. This represents a 4.6% rise from its 2018 findings.

Research Strategy

To find data and/or insights on the costs aspiring young leaders are willing to pay to resolve their leadership development challenges and propel their careers, the research team began by first scouring through analyses, opinion pieces, research findings, and any articles that touched on this. The research team found a plethora of sources that cited leadership challenges faced by young leaders but did not come across any publicly available information on how much young leaders were willing to pay to solve them. Most sources agreed that leadership training is expensive, but do not offer any solutions, especially those particular to burgeoning leaders. The research team opted to expand the scope to determine how much leadership training courses and programs generally cost per person, which led to the findings from leadership training service providers such as A Better Leader, Rapport Leadership, People Performance Solutions, and recruitment firm RecruitGyan. Findings from The Training Magazine's annual Training Industry Report also featured in this brief, as it listed the training costs companies spent on its workforce, which we safely construed included up and coming young leaders. The most recent publicly available report was from 2019.

We encountered the same challenge addressing the second part of this brief. Details about the channels most preferred by aspiring young leaders proved hard to come by. While Harvard Business Review did point to millennial leaders being "already comfortable" with social media-based interactions, most sources uncovered by the research team referred to channels preferred by the general leadership pool. An exhaustive search through research papers, analyses, opinion pieces by industry authorities, industry reviews, and articles did not yield any relevant data or information pertinent to the brief. The findings listed above were gleaned from leadership training practitioners and were deemed quasi-relevant as they lent insight on the range of leadership training costs across the various types of training that leaders, including the young aspiring ones, may consider.

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