It is not a secret that being a teacher is no easy feat. Teaching hundreds of learners, preparing thousands of lesson plans and presentations, staying late to prepare for the next day, and evaluating multiple assignments with a smile on your face is difficult. And it sometimes gets monotonous too. Thus, many teachers eventually begin looking for a new career.
Today, with the advancement of technology and the development of society as a whole, job opportunities have grown significantly, which provides a wide variety of new jobs to choose from. One popular and ever-growing career option that many teachers are gravitating towards these days is instructional design. The simple reason for this is that it’s a rewarding and lucrative career option right up the alley for most teachers.
This article will walk you through the ins and outs of instructional design and what it entails. We will also talk about the benefits of instructional design and why it is a good career option for teachers. By the end of the article, you will have a clear idea about this career and whether it’s the right fit for you.
So, let’s get started!
What is Instructional Design?
In a nutshell, instructional design is the art of creating enriching and innovative learning experiences for learners (mostly adult learners). Instructional designers usually work behind the scenes. They collaborate with various subject matter experts (SMEs), conduct research on multiple subjects, and leverage technology to create interactive learning experiences. In addition, they dedicate their time to providing learners with methods and materials that help them achieve their academic goals effectively.
Benefits of Choosing Instructional Design as Your Next Career
Now that you know what instructional design is, let’s talk about its various benefits.
- It is a rewarding and lucrative career option
The primary reason why many people are opting for instructional design is that it is a highly rewarding career that pays well. As per a 2020 report, the average salary of a full-time instructional designer in the U.S. is $77,360. Moreover, it has a projected growth rate of over 10% from 2020 through 2030.
- A good work-life balance
Another benefit of switching to instructional design is that it provides you with a good work-life balance. While every job comes with its share of stressful situations, being an instructional designer provides you with a relatively relaxed work environment.
It doesn’t bleed into your personal life and gives you ample time to pursue other hobbies, spend time with family, or simply enjoy life. And, many instructional designers choose to work as freelancers and earn a great paycheck.
- Ever-growing demand
With the growing popularity of online education, there is a constant demand for skilled instructional designers. And as a teacher, you already possess a lot of knowledge about creating effective lessons, crafting learning objectives, and writing measurable assessments items. You already have experience in creating lesson plans and working on assignments and presentations. Your skills such as writing and editing, developing course curriculums, and other managerial abilities will easily transfer over to your new position.
Additional Skills Teachers May Need to Become Terrific Instructional Designers
While teachers have excellent transferable skills, it is still necessary to acquire additional skills directly related to instructional design.
Here are some of the top skills you’d need to kickstart your career as an instructional designer.
- You would need to learn and master course development software. Learning how to operate software like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate is essential to start your instructional design journey.
- You’d need to know how to apply theories, models, and techniques such as ADDIE, SAM, Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy, Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Training Evaluations, etc.
- You’d need to hone your Project Management skills. As an instructional designer, at one point or another, you’d be asked to head up a project, work with Subject Matter Experts, or create a project plan for a new course.
- You’d need to develop above-average communication skills. Most instructional designers will have to work with Subject Matter Experts, which means they need to know how to effectively work with them so that they obtain all the information they need without holding unnecessary meetings. They’d also need to know how to translate complex/technical stuff to easy to understand language that an average learner can understand.
- You’d need to learn how to document your instructional design process. Instructional Designers need to be able to create thorough design documents as well as to conduct QA testing. Conducting needs analysis and creating a needs analysis document is another crucial part of instructional design.
Instructional designers are lifelong learners. They are expected to constantly learn about new things, conduct research and studies on various topics, and have the drive to become the best in their field of interest. Therefore, to succeed in the field, you would need to have an undying passion for learning and teaching.
Becoming an instructional designer can be extremely rewarding and satisfying if you have the right skills and expectations. If you have a passion for creating wholesome and enriching learning experiences for people and want to leave the classroom, then it is likely that you’ll enjoy everything that instructional design has to offer.
In my Instructional Design for ELearning program, I cover everything you need to know to become a successful instructional designer. The program is packed with interactive lessons, templates, and resources to help you start your new and rewarding career. There are four courses in the program – Instructional Design for ELearning, Designing Instructionally Sound ELearning Courses, Interactive ELearning, and Advancing Your ELearning Skills. And today, you can get all four courses for just $97. Enroll now and start creating successful ELearning courses!
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