Training and Development

Learn, grow, lead.

We offer a learning organization. Our people welcome change, revel in taking on challenges and embrace opportunities to learn that arise daily. We care about our people and support them to learn, grow, advance and lead.


Navigating career development is complex. We understand the resources and services our people need to develop and grow at the speed of our fast-evolving industry. Our Company offers learning opportunities to enrich the employee experience. Each year, in person and online, thousands of our employees expand their knowledge through engineering trainings, leadership and development courses, peer-to-peer education and more.


We are constantly creating new ways to help our people excel and advance. Supporting our people to learn and grow strengthens our Company and our ability to invent a better world.

Employee training and development programs

Our development programs enable employees with the resources they need to achieve their career goals, build technical expertise, shape management skills, lead the organization and balance their work and non-work lives to the best of their ability. Below is a look at how we’re supporting our people’s thirst and needs for training and development.

Enabling self-service access to development tools and resources

We encourage individualized learning experiences driven by a competency-based curriculum. To provide easy-to-navigate resources available anytime, anywhere, we launched a new employee development website in 2019. The website provides quick access to learning resources that are personalized to each person’s development needs.

We enable learning opportunities through multiple modalities, including online content, webinars, instructor-led programs, books, podcasts, training manuals, coding contests, hackathons and internal summits. We also offer a simple book order benefit — Qualcomm will purchase any job-related book or training manual for employees.

Employees can access thousands of curated technical, professional and leadership courses through our enterprise-wide subscriptions to LinkedIn Learning, Safari, Conference Board and IEEE Xplore. We also license relevant content from various niche IP vendors and through our rich ecosystem of global training partners. Qualcomm employees viewed approximately 300,000 content items across these platforms in 2019.

Also, in 2019, we offered more than 900 onsite programs, encompassing approximately 240,000 hours of instructor-led training.

Focusing on career development and progression

Employees at all levels of our organization are empowered to drive their individual career development and progression. We support them with a robust selection of online resources and instructor-led offerings on a variety of subjects, such as self-awareness, communication and developing a career progression strategy.

We train managers in key topics, such as how to help their employees identify and address career goals, how to have meaningful career conversations and coaching skills for engineering managers. We encourage managers to provide challenging assignments that give individuals opportunities to stretch and develop new skills.

In 2019, we launched a new series of employee webinars — open to all of our employees and managers around the globe — to support their professional growth. We’ve offered 28 different webinars to date, focusing on topics such as career branding and advocacy, presentation skills and innovation mindset. We’ve reached more than 3,500 people globally. We continue to add new offerings due to high demand for this program.

We’ve designed a series of short and easily accessible e-learning modules to support employees in navigating their careers. These modules are aligned to the annual performance review process and cover topics such as goal planning, achieving your career aspirations and having development conversations with your manager.

Our manager and employee forum programs provide an ongoing opportunity for employees to practice and apply learning around conversations aligned with the annual review process. These programs cover topics such as demystifying career conversations, discussing promotions, ratings and rewards and everyday feedback.

Developing effective managers

We understand the value of strong managers and the impact they can have on employees and the organization. An important way that we’re developing effective managers is through our manager track. This track focuses on providing real-time support to navigate the intricacies of being a manager. Topics such as transitioning to manager, engaging employees, communicating as a manager and managing performance have been very popular. Since 2017, we’ve delivered more than 100 live and virtual offerings to more than 2,000 managers.

Our manager forums provide an ongoing opportunity for managers to practice with peers and apply learning around conversations that align with the annual review process. Forums cover important topics, such as demystifying career conversations, discussing promotions, ratings and rewards and giving everyday feedback. To enable engineering managers to help their employees maximize their engagement and productivity, we offer Leading Technical People courses globally.

The experts work here, and we think they make excellent teachers, so we encourage leaders to teach other leaders. We provide managers unique opportunities to meet and learn from experts across the business.

Sustaining engineering leadership

We take great pride in our engineering culture and make sure our world-leading technical employees have the freedom and flexibility to continuously develop and refine their expertise in various domains.

Our engineering learning and development plan is refreshed every year to closely align with our company’s short-term and long-term strategic business objectives. As a result of this process, we’ve provided technical learning on technical topics such as machine learning, RF and Air Interface technologies. For example, our machine learning curriculum is comprised of 14 different course topics, ranging from Python/R, to Linear Algebra, Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), Long-short Term Memory (LSTM) and programs on data visualization and data munging. We also have a deep learning contest that serves as a capstone project for employees looking to get more hands-on experience. Our 5G learning plan has more than 15 different topics, ranging from online short overviews for leads and executives to programs on different layers/protocols to workshops on network architecture and capacity planning.

Cultivating strong leaders

Strong leaders inspire us and help us connect our work with purpose. To cultivate strong leaders, we focus on providing training and coaching on key topics, such as building executive presence, business acumen, powerful coaching conversations and impact and influence. We work with top leadership development companies, including Conference Board and Bluepoint Leadership, to curate content and develop impactful programs and experiences.

Our Executive Insights series provides leaders an opportunity to engage with executives in a small setting and hear the executives’ unique perspectives on leadership and key success strategies. Since 2017, we’ve had 16 sessions with approximately 400 leaders attending.

Tuition assistance program

We offer a robust tuition assistance program benefit. Employees can claim full reimbursement for undergraduate/graduate programs through any accredited institute and for programs offered through various massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as Coursera or Udacity. In 2019 alone, we reimbursed more than $1.5 million to employees for coursework completed in that year.

We have a University Relations program through which we engage with the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) by funding many research projects to help students realize their research interests and academic goals. We collaborate with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai to offer various onsite master’s degree programs at our India offices.

Qualcomm runs a global engineering lecture series. Employees can nominate and invite faculty from any accredited institution to visit and deliver a lecture or short course at any of our R&D centers.

Strategic approach to employee development through job analysis.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve conducted job analysis for our technical roles in order to establish consistent and objective criteria in how roles are defined and how performance is evaluated within specialties and levels. Our process identifies job responsibilities and the skills, competencies, education and work experiences, required to be successful.

Working with a leading human resources talent management consulting firm, we completed job analysis for job families covering nearly 27,000 employees in the United States and abroad. We deployed competency-based leveling guides to help managers focus on consistent, defined and complete criteria when evaluating employees and to help drive evaluations that are job-related and unbiased. Job analysis and leveling guides support career development and progression within our organization. They provide employees with an understanding of next-level expectations that can be helpful to them in terms of career development.

Qualcomm employees working on developing a new technology.

Development offerings focus on areas most in demand.

Our Talent and Engineering Development teams conduct an annual global training needs assessment to better understand and address employee development needs. The survey is designed to identify top themes across professional, leadership and technical domains. This approach ensures that our development offerings are focused on areas most in demand by our employees.

We’ve found that professional development needs voiced by employees show strong alignment with the way managers rate employees on skills and competencies evaluated during the annual review process. Individuals leading teams have expressed great interest in developing their skills around motivating and retaining employees, influencing others and coaching and mentoring. Our engineers have highlighted 5G,deep learning, RF and Python/R as their top technical focus areas.

Having this insight enables us to provide employees with immediate resources to their self-identified development needs and design new programs that matter most to them.

We partner and consult with our business groups, engineering leaders and human resources business partners to identify and address learning needs and skill gaps and to design/deliver a robust portfolio of customized instructor led trainings, webinars and workshops across our global sites.


All of our custom programs are evaluated through surveys that automatically go out to attendees once the program concludes.

We monitor and audit evaluation scores and feedback. We have dashboards that allow easy reporting and analysis of these datasets that enable us to adapt based on what we hear from learners.

Managers can easily view and access reports of their direct reports’ training activities and can assign them specific courses/plans with dedicated completion timeframes through our Learning Management System. Overdue notifications are automatically sent to the employee and their manager for monitoring purposes.