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Careers for Instructional Designers

Instructional design is a unique field of study that blends the fundamentals of communication, psychology, and education. Successful industrial designers understand how people learn and have the skills to create curriculum that accomplishes specific learning outcomes. Instructional design, or ID, skills help people develop pedagogical tools that are most effective when teaching students in specific subjects for specific purposes.

Because these skills are versatile and in demand in nearly every industry, graduates with a Master of Science in instructional design can pursue employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

Depending on the type of work and preference, graduates can seek out specific jobs in varied industries and organizations. Below is information on opportunities available to Master of Science in Instructional Design graduates, both in and outside of public education.

Jobs in Public Education

Earning a Master of Science in Instructional Design prepares K-12 teachers for the role of instructional coordinator. These individuals, also referred to as curriculum coordinators, oversee course curricula and specific learning objectives for relevant classes in a single school or entire district. As part of the team that creates, implements, and evaluates the programs and materials, instructional coordinators must have the skills of an instructional designer. Members of this specialized team, which may also include content area experts and school administrators, collaborate to understand and then codify student learning outcomes into assignments, grading rubrics, and class content.

The degree is also a good fit for curriculum developers who want to remain relevant by boosting their knowledge of tools and technologies in the realm of instructional design.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for instructional coordinators was over $64,000 as of 2018. The estimated job growth is 6% from 2018 to 2028.

Jobs Outside of Public Education

If you complete a graduate program in instructional design, you will not be limited to careers in a public school system. Medium and large corporations often hire Master of Science in Instructional Design graduates as instructional designers, corporate trainers, e-learning managers, project managers, strategic learning providers, continuing education experts, and training and development managers. Industry leadership roles with a high salary potential include chief learning executive and professional development director. Job opportunities are also available in nonprofits and the military.

Training and development managers oversee development specialists and coordinate programs to enhance training material and skills of a specific organization. Just as curriculum coordinators are ubiquitous, training and development managers can be found in nearly every industry since most companies offer training materials and professional development for their employees. Like instructional coordinators working in public education, training and development managers are familiar with the technology and cloud-based tools used to optimize learning experiences for employees working in and out of the office.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics placed the 2018 median annual wage for these managers at $111,340 with a projected job rate growth of 8% from 2018 to 2028.

Positions in both private and public sectors require instructional designers to create and implement educational experiences for all kinds of learners. St. Thomas University offers an online graduate program that equips students with theoretical and practical knowledge of instructional design to be successful across a broad range of fields. Students can complete this program remotely in as few as 10 months. 

Learn more about St. Thomas University's Master of Science in Instructional Design & Technology online program.

Sources: What Can I Do With An Instructional Design Degree?

Christy Tucker Learning: Instructional Design Careers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Instructional Coordinators

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