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Leverage Your Skills for a New Career in Instructional Design

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Are you feeling burned out in your current job? Do you find yourself daydreaming about a career change but feeling unsure if you have the necessary skills to make the transition?

You're not alone. In fact, I found myself experiencing those same feelings many years ago.

Many of us have found ourselves in a job that no longer excites us or challenges us, and the prospect of starting over in a new career can be daunting. But the good news is that a little bit of self-reflection and consideration of the skills you already have can help to motivate you to finally make the transition to a new career that is both fulfilling and rewarding.

I was in a full-time teaching role, quickly growing tired of teaching the same topics semester after semester. I found myself constantly tweaking my courses, looking for better ways to reach learners and support them on their learning journey. After learning that instructional designers are the architects of the education and training industry, I was intrigued to learn more and soon discovered that I already possessed a skill set that was not only transferable but also desired for instructional designers.

Let’s take a look at some skills you might have already developed that could be considered a skill set transferable into the field of instructional design.

Do you manage multiple projects? As instructional designers, we often juggle multiple projects and manage overlapping tasks and deadlines. There is an iterative cycle to course design, including assessment and revision, and this cycle must be managed well. Project and time management skills are important for instructional designers to manage the project load successfully and deliver final products on time.

Do you have strong communication skills? There are many team members that instructional designers work with throughout the design process, including subject-matter experts, teachers/trainers, and clients, as well as information technology specialists, visual designers, editors, and others. The ability to communicate clearly, ask critical questions, and negotiate when needed is important to ensure the project is designed and delivered efficiently and effectively.

Do you have an eye for design? Visual design is important in instructional design. We merge visual appeal and creativity to transform learning materials into informative and visually engaging content. Visually appealing designs enhance user engagement and accessibility, making the creative touch a desired skill in the creation process.

Do you have strong critical thinking skills? The field of instructional design demands not only the capacity to think critically but also to do so within a framework of analysis and evaluation. We are tasked with designing innovative training and learning solutions that cater to the unique needs of individual learners. If the idea of thinking outside the box to design creative and inventive solutions sounds exciting, instructional design could be the field for you.

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While these transferable skills might be your foot in the door of the instructional design field, don’t dismiss the notion of an instructional design master’s degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 6% increase in Instructional Design employment from the present until 2031. Adding the foundational knowledge of instructional design theories and strategies to your transferable skills could help you finally make the transition to a fulfilling and rewarding career in the growing field of instructional design.

Ready to take the next step? Explore our comprehensive Instructional Design Degree Program, offering specialized courses to develop skills in learning experience design, e-learning design, and curriculum design. SNU's online Instructional Design Program will help you develop the skills needed for a rewarding career in the dynamic field of educational technology and training.

Whether you're pursuing a training and development degree, seeking an instructional technology program, or thinking about an instructional design certification, our program is designed to prepare you for a successful career in this ever-evolving industry. Apply Now to start your journey today towards a fulfilling career in Instructional Design.

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