Instructional Design Degree

Instructional designers create exciting material to teach subjects to all groups of people. An instructional designer uses content and technology to create interesting and exciting ways of delivering knowledge for students of all ages. A career in instructional design can be a great way to combine a love of education with a love of a particular subject and the creativity necessary to make the content interesting.

How Do I Become an Instructional Designer?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists “instructional coordinator” as a job description that fits the profile of instructional design. While instructional coordinators often manage large groups of teachers or other educators, this job is very similar to what any instructional designer does in the sense of approving and designing curriculum.

According to the BLS, instructional coordinators earned a median salary of $58,830 in 2010. The highest-paid instructional coordinators worked for elementary and secondary public and private schools, and earned a median salary of $65,210. Instructional designers providing support services earned a median salary of $59,230, while those at junior colleges earned $54,490 and those at state and private universities earned a median salary of $52,350.

What Is the Job Outlook for Instructional Designers?

Instructional coordinator jobs are expected to grow faster than average at about 20 percent over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these jobs will be with public school systems and with private schools as populations continue to grow. However, because many of these jobs are dependent on public funding, budget restrictions may affect the number of positions that are offered in a given geographical area. Areas with higher populations will probably offer the greatest number of jobs in instructional design.

Instructional designers may also work for private corporations or companies to design instructional materials for employees or customers. These jobs usually offer good pay and working hours, although they may also involve extensive travel to various locations to train employees. Many instructional designers who work for private companies also design instructional materials to be used by the company to train people outside of the business, such as customer training materials. These materials may be in video or written format or may be part of interactive computer modules.

How Do I Become an Instructional Designer?

Many colleges offer four-year or master’s degrees in instructional design. Many teachers, for example, pursue a master’s degree in instructional design after teaching for a few years in an academic or vocational field. However, it is not necessary for an instructional designer to have teaching experience, although many people find that it does help them perform their jobs better.

All that is really necessary to get a degree in instructional design and become a successful designer is a love for the subject and a love for teaching. Many students of instructional design focus on a particular age group, demographic group, or subject in order to maximize their skills and deliver quality content. Many new students of instructional design are also focusing on the use of technology in delivering content, including video, audio, and web-based learning products.

Instructional designers may also major in other fields or take a minor in another subject. This is common for those who want to teach adults; a degree in social work, for example, complements an instructional designer degree for those who want to design materials used to teach adults living skills. Similarly, a computer science degree may be complemented by an instructional design degree for someone who wants to write computer software for use in educational settings.

A career in instructional design can be rewarding and bring new challenges every day for someone who wants to exercise his or her creativity in building great educational materials. A student who has a creative nature coupled with good content knowledge and the ability to convey information in concise terms makes an ideal instructional design candidate.

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