Why choose Instructional Technology / Instructional Design as a career?

If you are unfamiliar with instructional technology/instructional design I will very briefly describe what our graduates do, however, this post more or less focuses on the ‘why’.

Instructional Design? How did it originate?

Instructional design as a field or job was created during WW1 and WW2. The government realized that ‘nuclear scientists’ while great at their jobs were not the best people to actually develop training materials and to deliver training sessions to new scientists. Essentially what they did is take experts who understood education theory, communication, education psychology, etc. and had them work with the ‘ subject matter experts’ on these sciences to develop sound effective training. Thus instructional design was born.

What does an instructional designer do?

– Can work in corporate, government, K-12, or higher ed settings
– Design curriculum, design training (anything from anti terrorism training, flying helicopters, corporate orientation, to developing curriculum for elementary school students).
– Develop/program training
– Front end analysis – what is wrong, why, how do we fix it? (think of the ‘bobs’ from office space)
– Evaluation – was this implementation effective?
– Recommend technology solutions for training needs

So why be an instruction designer?

– Great pay – graduates are starting just above 60k (with no experience). If you go into management from a general ISD position your salary can easily be over 100k in 5 or so years.
– Can have a bachelor degree in any field then get a Masters in ISD – You do need a masters degree to be an instructional designer.
– It’s a Masters degree – very easy to move up the corporate ladder with an MS
– Many jobs available – even during 2007 when the economy tanked our graduates had work. Every company needs trainers and training.
– Get to work in teams – usually always on project teams
– Easy transition into management. Very easy to get into a project management role within a few years. From there you can move up to partner/CEO positions assuming you are a super star employee (and a lot of luck)
– Mobility – instructional designers are needed everywhere. You can move to any state in the US and find a job fairly easily. Many international opportunities as well.
– Future – training is not going away. In fact, with each new technological advancement our field becomes more and more important and needed.

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