The Value of Conflict Training

Gain a Competitive Edge

A man sits in a training.Training and education in conflict and dispute resolution can give you a real "edge" when it comes to your career! Conflict is a costly and often mishandled phenomenon in the workplace, and employers want to hire people with specific skills and experience managing conflicts effectively.

  • Conflict at work costs employers thousands of management hours each year. “Managing conflict at work, including disciplinary and grievance cases and preparing for employment tribunals, costs the average employer nearly 450 days of management time every year—equivalent to the time of two managers full time.” (Management Services, 2005)
  • Managers spend 24%-60% of their time dealing with conflicts. (Guttman, 2009; CareerBuilder, 2009).
  • Only 31% of managers felt skilled at dealing with conflict, and only 22% of employees felt that their managers dealt with conflict well. (CPP, 2008).
  • Mishandled work conflicts = lost work time, decreased commitment to the employer, and decreased productivity.  (Takeuchi Cullen, 2008). 
  • Conflicts have many serious consequences at work (CPP, 2008).
    • 85% of employees have to deal with conflict; 29% do so frequently.
    • Employees spend an average of 2.8 hours/week addressing workplace conflict (apx. $359 billion in paid hours in 2008).
    • 33% of employees said conflicts have lead to personal injury or attacks.
    • 22% said that conflict has led to illness or absence from work.
  • "The ability to mitigate conflicts between co-workers has been identified as one of the top qualities employers are looking for." (Collegiate Employment Research Institute 2007)
  • According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2011 Job Outlook Survey, communication skills are the most desired characteristic employers are seeking in new college graduates. This is followed closely by the ability to work as a team member.
  • “Why Seek a Conflict Management Graduate Certificate? Individuals with a graduate certificate in conflict management can choose from a variety of applications in a number of related arenas including arbitration, domestic relations, international conflict management, healthcare dispute management, and many other highly-specialized fields. Certified graduates are also leading candidates for advancement and salary increase once hired.” (Educational “Conflict Resolution Certification: Graduate Certification Program Overview”)
  • “In a world drawn ever closer by globalization, yet still fractured by historical and cultural division, evolution in conflict resolution management is critical.  Embarking on a coordinated body of study will show an employer that you have a serious interest in, and greater understanding of, the rapidly expanding science of conflict resolution. Participating in Certificate program courses will allow you to mix with and learn from: scholars and practitioners who are recognized both nationally and internationally for their expertise; and professionals practicing in a variety of fields.  This exposure is extremely valuable in a world where conflict resolvers almost always work in cross-disciplinary teams” (Hamline University School of Law,

Job Opportunities in Dispute Resolution

Additionally, the market for jobs in dispute resolution is growing rapidly:

  • US News and World Report identified being a Mediator as one of the Best Careers of 2011. "Employment in arbitration, mediation, and conciliation is expected to expand by 1,400 jobs, or 22 percent, between 2008 and 2018, according to the Labor Department. That's a growth-rate above the average for all occupations."
  • Universities, high schools, and corporations are now hiring conflict resolution practitioners. Positions that used to be seen as the disciplinarian are now seen as conflict resolution positions. (Fresno Pacific University, Dec. 2009)
  • “Relief and development organizations are rapidly adding conflict specialists to their teams....” (Fresno Pacific University, Dec. 2009)
  • “Government agencies are regularly advertising for conflict specialists….” (Fresno Pacific University, Dec. 2009)
  • “Those interested in the restorative justice field will find many opportunities with probation or social service departments, in addition to the more expected non-profit organizations.” (Fresno Pacific University, Dec. 2009)
  • “Examples of jobs in the fast growing field of conflict resolution include: ADR coordinator for judges, Family court services mediator, Public policy/environmental facilitator (agency employee), Ombudsman for a corporation, Self employed mediator (family, commercial, insurance), Director of student services mediation at a university, Designer of dispute resolution systems for corporations or healthcare organizations, Dispute resolution case manager at a DRC, Government ADR specialist (U.S.P.S., EEOC, etc.), Specialist for ADR provider (A.A.A., Keybridge Foundation, etc.), Human resource manager” (Texas Woman’s University, 2011)
  • "Employment of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. This projected growth is driven by the fact that mediations and arbitrations are typically faster and less costly than litigation and may be required in certain types of legal cases.” (Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • “You might also be surprised to hear that arbitrators and mediators make the six-figure cut for top earners. Their work might sound like just helping settle other people's arguments, but it's also about helping people avoid astronomical legal fees.” (Forbes, 2009)

Those Educated by the CDR Extol Its Value

Education and training through the Center for Dispute Resolution and Missouri State University has proven valuable to many students and participants.

  • "As a lawyer, the training and skills I have received in the Conflict and Dispute Resolution certificate are indispensable. Not only will these tools further my goals as a mediator, but the knowledge I have gained will be utilized in my everyday legal practice. Simply stated, enrolling in the program has been one of the wisest decisions of my career." James Carmichael, attorney and student in the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate Program
  • "My experiences with the CDR and the certificate program are best described as life changing. My personal perspectives on conflict and community have been radically formed as a result of my internships at the CDR. The opportunity to learn and gain practical experience by serving my community has placed my education among the best in the field." Nathan Hamilton, human resources professional and graduate of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate Program
  • "I would encourage anyone who works in a corporate setting to do the Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution.  You’ll benefit from the incredible practical tools that you are equipped with, one-on-one workshops with talented professionals who help you hone your skills in a learning environment, and connections with a Center that takes their program seriously and is committed to your success." Charity Reeb, MBA graduate and student in the Certificate Program
  • "I just had my first job interview after completing the certificate. The interviewers asked me how I handled conflict. I was able to tell them that in the past I had shied away from it, but that after two years of studying conflict and putting what I learned into practice, I am now able to confront it head-on. From their reactions, I could tell that I had given the right answer.” Season Cooley, graduate from the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Certificate Program
  • "Working as a facilitator for 12 years, I was never satisfied with my ability to teach groups how to overcome conflict. The Certificate in Conflict Resolution not only made me much more effective at conflict management, it also gave me the tools to effectively train other individuals and groups to dialog and resolve.” David Freeman, graduate from the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Certificate Program

View Current Job Opportunities in Conflict, Dispute Resolution, and Mediation

Click on any of the links below to view current job opportunities for individuals with education and experience in conflict resolution and mediation.

Job Classifications for Conflict and Dispute Resolution Professionals

Completion of the certificate in conflict and dispute resolution prepares students for a wide range of occupations. A selected list of these occupations is included below along with each position’s corresponding SOC code. Additional information on professional positions that utilize conflict and dispute resolution skills can be found at

SOC Code Occupation
23-1022.00 Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
25-1111.00 Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
33-3021.03 Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
11-1021.00 General and Operations Managers
11-2031.00 Public Relations Managers
11-3111.00 Compensation and Benefits Managers
11-3131.00 Training and Development Managers
11-9031.00 Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program
11-9032.00 Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School
11-9111.00 Medical and Health Services Managers
11-9151.00 Social and Community Service Managers
19-1023.00 Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
19-2041.00 Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
19-3031.00 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
19-3051.00 Urban and Regional Planners
19-3099.00 Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other
19-4061.01 City and Regional Planning Aides
21-1011.00 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
21-1012.00 Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
21-1013.00 Marriage and Family Therapists
21-1021.00 Child, Family, and School Social Workers
21-1023.00 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
21-1092.00 Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
21-1093.00 Social and Human Service Assistants
21-1099.00 Community and Social Service Specialists, All Other
21-2021.00 Directors, Religious Activities and Education
23-1021.00 Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
23-1022.00 Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
23-1023.00 Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
23-2011.00 Paralegals and Legal Assistants
23-2092.00 Law Clerks
25-1062.00 Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
25-1072.00 Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary
25-1121.00 Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
25-2022.00 Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
25-2031.00 Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
25-2052.00 Special Education Teachers, Preschool, Kindergarten, and Elementary School
25-3011.00 Adult Literacy, Remedial Education, and GED Teachers and Instructors
25-3099.00 Teachers and Instructors, All Other