Josh Bersin didn’t expect to become a human resources guru. With two engineering degrees, he found himself firmly in the technical arena at the start of his career. But after a decade, he wanted more. So he enrolled at Haas.
That decision changed his trajectory. Although stints at IBM and Sybase had provided him some field sales and marketingexperience, at Haas he learned the basics of entrepreneurship. He also became fascinatedby how technology, particularly the early Internet, could improve corporate training.
“The concept of human resources e-learning was gaining traction,” he says. “Companies wanted to put employee training modulesonline but didn’t know how to build interactive content that would work in a browser. I wanted to help bridge the gap.”
MBA in hand, in 1998 Bersin came across a position that combined his technical chops with his interest in corporate training: vice president of marketing with Arista Knowledge Systems, a company that was buildingan early online educationsystem.
In 2003 Bersin struck out on his own, startingBersin & Associates, an online research and education business. In 2012, Deloitte acquired the company—now called Bersin, Deloitte Consulting—and Bersin has remained as its principal.
Today he spends his days helping human resources officers identify the best technology trainingstrategies for their staff. He also speaks at industry events, blogs for Forbes.com, and writes a column for Chief Learning Officer magazine.
“I never would have thought I’d end up being this kind of HR training expert,” he says. “But I’ve learned not only to look for ways to solve problems that may not be immediatelyobvious but also to stay open to opportunities that come in unexpected ways.”