Should you become an instructional designer?

Mon 21 Nov 2022

Workdesk image

Do you have a passion for learning and helping others learn?  If so, you should consider a career in instructional design! 

Instructional design is the process of creating learning experiences and materials to help students learn. This includes anything from developing a course curriculum to creating instructional videos. 

If you have strong communication skills, a flair for creativity, and enjoy working with people - this is the perfect career for you! 

Why should you consider a career in Instructional Design? There's never been a better time to get started with an instructional design career. In fact, instructional design has even been referred to as the "hottest job in higher education" - and for good reason. The outlook on Instructional Designers is very positive, with demand expected to increase in the coming years. 

A career in Instructional design requires a diverse skillset. If you are interested in the technology industry, or in people, then this course is ideal for you!

So if you’re someone who enjoys learning new technologies and taking on new challenges, instructional design could be a rewarding career path for you.

What does an Instructional Designer do? 

Instructional Designers are responsible for how people learn. They do this by designing, developing, managing, and evaluating the learning curriculum and educational tools, systems, and processes. 

As an Instructional Designer, your main responsibility is creating new courses and training materials., so it's important to be excellent at goal setting, planning and researching. You’ll use instructional design models and theories to produce the best learning experience possible. 

Instructional Designers not only research and plan, but they also create and develop learning materials and processes. They use a variety of learning methods and technologies to reach the learning goals set for students. Instructional Designers often collaborate with Subject Matter Experts to stay updated on curriculum changes. 

Another part of an Instructional Designer’s role is to control and scrutinise the pre-existing learning processes and instructional materials. Enhancing these procedures and materials to ensure educational goals are being satisfied is a crucial part of the job. 

Instructional Designers can work across a wide range of businesses in both the public and private sector, including:

  • As part of a Learning & Development team
  • Individuals delivering workforce training eg Health & Safety
  • Further Education
  • Higher Education 
  • Private training providers

Many Instructional Designers find employment with bigger companies in Learning and Development roles delivering internal training.

What skills and knowledge do instructional designers need?

An Instructional Designer needs a wide skillset and must be knowledgeable in several disciplines. This usually includes learning theory, graphic and UX/UI design, user experience design and cognitive theory.

Learning designers use many tools and systems in their roles and.  it’s necessary for them to have a working knowledge of current educational technologies. 

The skills below have both a practical and theoretical basis and will help an Instructional Designer be successful in their role:

  • Project management 
  • Communication  
  • Collaboration  
  • Research 
  • Teaching skills 
  • Visual design 
  • Creativity 

How to become an Instructional Designer 

The instructional design field is appealing to professionals of all levels since it’s accommodating for those just starting their careers as well as career changers. Although there are many ways to get into the industry, you will still need some essential skills and knowledge regarding instructional design principles. 

Below are the typical steps to becoming an Instructional Designer: 

  1. Gain hands-on experience in instructional design through internships, fellowships, or volunteer opportunities. 
  2. Complete a degree in instructional design, instructional technology, educational psychology, or a relevant field. 
  3. Obtain certification with an approved organisation such as the Level 5 Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design.  MOL Learn is an approved partner of the Digital Learning Institute
  4. Build your online portfolio of instructional design projects to showcase your capabilities to potential employers. 

Next steps

  1. Apply for relevant job openings in education or training-related fields, such as corporate Learning & Development, academic instruction or e-learning. 
  2. Seek out mentorship opportunities with more experienced instructional designers to advance your skills and knowledge. 
  3. Continue learning and developing your professional skills by attending educational conferences, workshops, seminars or webinars on instructional design topics and trends. 

Job outlook and salary 

The eLearning industry has been booming in recent years, and with more learning moving online, the demand for Instructional Designers is higher than ever.  Since the pandemic, the requirement for instructional designers specialising in digital programme design has increased and shows no sign of slowing down. 

An Instructional Designer salary in the UK can range from £28k to £55k, depending on location and experience. 

If you’re looking for a rewarding and intellectually stimulating career , then instructional design may be the perfect choice for you. As an Instructional Designer, you’ll have the opportunity to use your creative and analytical skills to help others learn, grow and achieve their goals

With excellent job prospects and competitive salaries, this is an exciting and promising career path to consider. 

Start exploring instructional design and contact us to learn more about achieving your Professional Diploma in Learning Design today.

DLI logo

Digital Learning Design

Engaging training is more of an expectation than ever before. We’re proud to deliver this globally recognised qualification.

Improve the performance
of your people

We’ll help you design a bespoke training and development curses built around your people.