Instructional Designer Jobs For Teachers
Instructional designers create learning materials for a variety of demographics, with the most common being higher education or corporate.
ID is an increasingly in-demand profession, especially with the e-learning market estimated to grow to $325 Billion by 2025.
Instructional designers come into the field from a significant career change. This makes it an excellent arena for former teachers as well. Another perk of this position is you often have the ability to work remotely.
I frequently get asked about instructional design positions. Often teachers who follow me or are in the Teacher Career Coach Course reach out wanting to learn more. After leaving the classroom for a career as an educational consultant, I transitioned into instructional design full-time! I currently work for an educational company developing their resources. In this blog, I’ll walk you through the basics you’ll need to know if you’re considering a career in instructional design.
Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. This is at no additional cost to you.
Instructional designers are learning professionals
Instructional Designers are a very integral part of the learning process. They develop courses or curriculums, informative training materials, assessment pieces, teaching manuals, student guides, and workbooks. This position helps to bridge the gap between learning and technology and create an engaging educational experience. If you love creating eye-catching lesson plans, ID can be a meaningful and satisfying career path.
Transferrable skills from teaching
A lot of times, teachers convince themselves they aren’t qualified for any other career. Teachers often have low self-esteem. They feel devalued as career experts, and buy into the myth that no one will value their educational experience. (Interested in learning more about this? Check out my blog on Impostor Syndrome).
The skills you already possess as a teacher can quickly transfer into a career for instructional design. Writing and editing, curriculum development, and managerial skills will all transfer over nicely into this position. If you have exposure to Learning Management Systems (LMS), course development software, teacher training programs, and parent/teacher communication apps, you aren’t stepping into this profession blindly.
There are other skills teachers possess that are useful for these positions, such as customer service and project management. When looking at job postings, it’s easy to see corporate vocabulary and automatically categorize yourself as underqualified for the position. One of the lessons in The Teacher Career Coach Course is how to translate your teaching skills into corporate lingo.
Additional skills teachers may need
- Exposure to course development software (e.g., Articulate Storyline, Captivate) and Learning Management Systems
- Familiarity with online learning, learning technology, instructional, graphic, and/or web design or development skills
- General technical aptitude with the ability to comprehend complex technical topics
- Familiarity with ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model, which is a methodology for instructional design.
- Research, study and gain an overall knowledge of project management skills.
Teacher skills are excellent and will transfer, but it will be helpful to have specific skills that are directly related to instructional design. Technological experience, such as knowledge about content management systems (ex. WordPress or Drupal) as search engine optimization, may also be required.
Many job requirements differ from listing to listing, so you have to read job postings to understand what qualifications are required for that specific position. Reading job postings to identify when you are qualified is another lesson I teach in The Teacher Career Coach Course.
Digital courses to learn instructional design positions
I’ve put together a list of digital courses I found that may help you learn the skills, terminology, and expectations of a career in instructional design. I have chosen courses specifically from Udemy because I find that they often have LARGE discounts and sales to help fit into a teacher’s budget. I’d suggest putting it in your cart if it’s at full price now and waiting for a sale.
The Instructional Design for ELearning program covers the methodology, skills, and techniques necessary for developing effective eLearning solutions. This course provides the foundation for instructional development. In this course, you will explore current theories, principles, methodologies, and techniques of online learning. You will also create interactive eLearning solutions that meet your learners’ needs.
The Instructional Design for Corporate Learning and Development course will help you learn adult learning principles and theories that are critical in the design of quality training programs that support recognized competency standards.
The Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course will give you real-world examples for projects and hands-on experience. By the end of this course, you will have intermediate to expert level knowledge of graphic design theory that you will immediately be able to apply to your career, job, hobby, or company.
The Teacher Career Coach Course, the course that I created to help teachers transition, will be extremely beneficial to teachers looking to transition into this position. This course includes classroom to corporate translations to help you identify the instructional designer positions you’re qualified for and rewrite your transition resume using the experience you’ve already developed in your teaching career. And if you want to keep your options open, this course will help you identify the other paths that are best-suited fits for your specific needs.
Other courses worth mentioning:
- Instructional Design Foundations and Applications
- Infographic Design
- Digital Storytelling
- Inclusive Design
- Instructional Design Foundations Applications
Tips for getting your first position as an instructional designer
Hiring managers are looking more for the experience than they are certifications or new degrees. If possible, start freelancing or consulting while you are learning about instructional design to obtain even more resume experience. As an added bonus, you earn some extra money which can help keep you motivated!
Start preparing your elevator pitch, a quick 30-second description of yourself to help showcase how you fit the new role. This is great for networking opportunities, emails, and for your new LinkedIn profile. Here is an example of an elevator pitch for a prospective instructional designer: “I recently graduated with a Master’s degree from UT and have been working in the education field for 7 years. I’ve really enjoyed the instructional design aspect of teaching, combined with project management. I’m actually looking to transition into something outside of education and more in line with Instructional Design. If your company is ever looking for a go-getter who is an experienced Designer, please keep me in mind!?
Next Steps to a New Career
One of the biggest mistakes that I see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.