The instructional design masters degree program is designed for people who want to work in the field of educational technology. The coursework prepares graduates to take up a diverse range of professional positions. But first, what is instructional design? Instructional design and development, also called Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is the systematic development of instruction using learning and instructional theory to develop quality instruction.
Instructional Design Training and Education
Full-time study for a Masters degree generally takes two years after having obtained a bachelors degree. Prerequisites are knowledge of adult learning techniques and at least three years experience in designing and developing web-based learning programs. Essentially, the job requires a comprehensive understanding of all complex learning solutions.
The instructional design masters degree program offers advanced education in a number of related subjects. These are e-learning, media and library science, development and learning, performance technology, educational psychology, curriculum design, and educational technology. Some degrees prepare graduates to enter the world of research and academia, while others prepare them for positions in the business or public sectors. Other courses may include:
- Principles of E-Learning Instructional Design
- Project Management for E-Learning
- E-Learning Evaluation and Assessment
On a personal level, there are some important qualities needed. Interpersonal, facilitation, and presentation skills should be outstanding. An instructional designer must also have a high level of professionalism, credibility, and executive presence. He or she should have the ability to influence and challenge colleagues and clients. Furthermore, this work requires exceptional problem-solving and communication (oral and written) skills.
Instructional Design Careers
You can pursue many career paths with an instructional design masters degree. To give you an idea of what the nature of work involves, let’s look briefly at the career of an instructional designer. Some examples of professional areas of employment are instructional designer, e-learning specialist, human performance technologist, human resource developer, or technology integration specialist.
He or she is responsible to lead the development, design, administration, and implementation of learning programs for an organization’s employees. Instructional designers also devise learning strategies and monitor results which they present to the company executives. Additionally, they are accountable for virtual usability and global content management.
With an instructional design masters degree, a senior ID will use e-learning tools and other resources to enhance efficiency in development, and increase proficiency within the company. The role of a senior instructional designer also incorporates the support of customer care initiatives. In addition to holding a Masters Degree, at least five years of relevant working experience is needed to take on this position.
Large companies, schools, software developers, and software publishers all employ instructional designers. On a consulting basis, they can work for the military, federal government agencies, hospitals, universities or colleges, and even for foreign governments.
An instructional designer may be a manager of a design team or take on other top positions within an organization. Alternatively, he or she may choose to practice as a freelance developer or consultant.
Working conditions in this profession vary because instructional designers work in different environments. These could be small software development firms or large corporate companies. The work can be stressful at times and may involve overtime in order to meet deadlines.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
The demand for people with an Instructional Design Masters Degree is set to grow rapidly. More businesses, schools, and other organizations, are using computers as an effective means of teaching. This is creating a multitude of job opportunities for those in the instructional design profession. As with most occupations, salaries depend on location, level of responsibility, and experience. Presently, the average annual income in the US is between $69,000 and $80,000 for those at a senior level.
Programs in Instructional Design
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Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
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