6 of the Best Online Trainings to Take to Qualify for Tomorrow’s Top Government Careers

Online trainings for government and public sector professionals are an ideal way to learn new skills and advance your career. They also can be an affordable option if you work at an agency that has cut travel budgets for staff.

While some of these trainings are free or low-cost, some of these are decidedly not. But, if a training is the perfect way to speed you along your public sector career path, the investment could be a worthwhile investment for you or your employer.


Your agency needs its employees to learn and succeed, not stagnate and flounder. Association for Talent Development’s Essentials of Developing an Organizational Learning Culture course explores the ways in which you can help to create the kind of culture that maximizes learning and results in continuous performance improvement. It’s more than just connecting your team to formal training. It’s about how managers can help employees learn constantly in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in our fast-changing, digital world.

The next 3-part live online course is on November 1–15, 2017, and costs $495 for ATD members or $850 for non-members.


Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education’s Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change program may not be aimed solely at government employees, but it is a unique opportunity for a long, deep dive into community organizing via a collaborative online learning environment. Over 14 weeks, Professor Marshall Ganz helps participants learn how to organize communities to mobilize their resources to create the power they need to make change. It is not a passive training. Participants lead an organizing project, write reflection papers, receive coaching, and coach each other. The program is designed for emerging and established leaders from civic, social, or political organizations. Admission is competitive.

The next program session is February 5–May 20, 2018, and costs $2,100. The deadline to apply is December 5, 2017.

Working for local government

Strategic Government Resources’s Local Government 101 will ease you into the ins and outs of working in a position with high visibility and accountability in local government. assists new employees in understanding the legal, cultural, and political environments of local government. The course provides an overview of the types of local governments and discusses forms of municipal government, specifically focusing on city manager-council form of government. Participants will also learn about municipal revenue sources, the annual budget process, and strategies for a successful career in local government.

The 1-hour course costs $19.95, which you can access for 30 days.

Public speaking

Nancy Duarte is one of the leading experts in presentation design and public speaking. Her Persuasive Presentations eCourse focuses on the skills you need to connect more deeply with your audience. The curriculum includes how to organize a coherent presentation narrative, create persuasive messages and visuals, connect with and engage your audience, win over tough crowds, show people why your ideas matter to them, and strike the right tone in any situation. The course is online, on-demand, and self-guided, allowing you to take the 67 lesson modules at your own pace when your schedule allows.

The course can be started at any time and costs $495. Before signing up, check out the free sample lesson to decide if this online course is right for you.

IT planning

Govtech’s Tech Refresh: Out with the Old is an honest conversation about how government agencies can update aging systems and build a resilient infrastructure to better serve their constituents and fulfill their mission. Held earlier in 2017, speakers from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),  National Weather Service, and Govini talked about performing assessments, justifying the investment, dealing with legacy systems, shifting internal culture, creating plans, lining up resources, and navigating bureaucracy toward successful IT modernization.

The recording is free to watch, though you have to create an account with the BrightTALK webinar company.


From the 2015 OPM data breach to 2017’s dump of CIA documents by Wikileaks, it’s clear government agencies need to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts. The SANS Institute’s A Practical Introduction to Cyber Security Risk Management course is an intensive, immersive training on the practical skills employees need to perform regular risk assessments for their organizations and protect their data assets. The practical course includes a hands-on laboratory training component. It’s an introductory course useful regardless of your technical information security or management background.

You’re given 4 months of online access to complete the self-study version of this training course, which costs $2,240.

We’re going to publish a larger list of the best online trainings for government employees later in 2017. What online trainings have you attended that you recommend? If your organization hosts online trainings, what are your most popular and well-reviewed online trainings? Share your the best online trainings for government employees in the comments and they just might appear in our article.

Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, writer, and speaker based in San Francisco. She helps organizations engage their communities and tell their stories. Her website is laurengirardin.com and you can connect with her on Twitter at @girardinl.

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