Are you interested in both education and technology? Perhaps you are a teacher looking to integrate technology into classroom instruction and curricula. Or maybe you would like to pursue a career in e-learning and distance learning. Working in instructional design, training and development management in the corporate environment can be both engaging and lucrative.
Earning a master's degree in instructional design can be a wise step in pursuing these and other related career paths. In particular, a degree program such as the University of West Florida's Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Instructional Design and Technology can help you develop the knowledge and skills needed for success in this vast field. Additionally, having a master's degree is often required for higher-level positions. And, of course, the convenient, fully online model of this program will reinforce your understanding of distance learning development, design and execution.
Below are five examples of exciting jobs in instructional design:
Educational Technology Specialists and Instructional Technologists
In the education field, educational technology specialists and instructional technologists are tasked with multiple aspects of effectively integrating technology into the classroom. For example, they may work in curriculum design, choosing instructional technologies and deciding which materials to implement. Training instructional coaches in technology integration is often the responsibility of educational technologists, or they may directly conduct instructional development and coaching to assist teachers and educational leaders in incorporating appropriate technologies into teaching practice. These are essential components of the modern classroom, whether in a traditional classroom or in a distance learning program.
According to May 2019 PayScale, data, the average annual salary for educational technology specialists is $60,000.
Instructional designers often work for companies, designing various types of instructional materials and programs. They may focus on the training and development of employees or designing instructional materials and courses for customers. These courses must integrate the knowledge of company technology, course delivery method, such as online video tutorials or courses, and instructional methodologies to ensure the most effective and user-friendly learning experience.
PayScale reports the average yearly salary of instructional designers in September 2019 to be $62,162.
Understandably, the process of earning a master's degree online might spur your interest in a career in e-learning or distance learning. E-learning instructional design professionals may work in actual course design incorporating technology and software use. If you prefer teaching through the online model (and have the adequate field-specific education and experience) you may instead pursue a distance learning professorship job.
Online programs such as UWF's M. Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology are quickly gaining popularity, and many students in traditional campus-based degree programs also take online courses. This explains the rapidly growing demand for well-trained, technologically savvy online professors.
Instructional Design Managers
With the advanced credential a master's degree affords, coupled with a few years of experience, pursuing a management role in the instructional design field is a pragmatic goal. Instructional design managers conduct traditional tasks of entry level instructional designers, yet they also oversee the larger model and implementation of an organization's instructional programs.
Beyond designing these programs, instructional design managers generally oversee teams of subordinate instructional designers, professional development staff, and the like. They ensure the quality of instructional design implementation through a number of steps, including training, assessment, and program design revision.
Instructional design managers make an average annual salary of $78,165 according to September 2019 data from PayScale.
Training and Development Managers
Another managerial role for those with advanced knowledge of and experience with education and instructional design is that of training and development manager. Responsibilities include developing training programs based on what employees need to further an organization's goals, while assessing the resources available and intended outcomes. These professionals then oversee the training and development staff, educating them in effective training and instruction techniques as well as assessing results.
According to their advanced education and breadth of knowledge and skills, training and development managers can command a substantial salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for training and development managers in 2018 was $111,340 per year.
As technology is an integral and ever-growing part of instruction in education, professional development and customer learning, instructional design has become an important field, applicable to a variety of industries. The above are just a few jobs to which you might apply the knowledge and skills you can develop through earning an online M. Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology. For those with advanced education and experience in this field, many exciting job opportunities await in both the public and private sectors.
Sources:The eLearning Guild
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