Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Career in Instructional Design - Is it for you?

In this article, I will run through several considerations for most of you who may be evaluating Instructional Design as a long term career option.

1. Personality: Most people who love active interaction are not patient enough to sit in one place and do a design type of creative job. If you are a quite worker focused on your job and not so much inclined towards high people-interaction jobs such as Inside Sales, Customer Service, Classroom teaching, Field Sales, etc, you may fit well for this job.   As usual, there may be exceptions. Also, for an Instructional Designer, being organized and disciplined will be really useful. 

2. English Language Skills: Since most Instructional Design jobs require content to be developed in English; good comprehension, grammar and writing skills are mandatory. Good speaking skills are not a substitute for good writing skills. 

3. Undergraduate or Masters Degree:  There is no one degree that can be said as the best foundation program suitable for a career in Instructional Design. Of course, I say this assuming that your country does not have a formal recognized degree program in Instructional Design. So, if you are an Arts, Psychology, Sociology, Physics, Mathematics, English, Commerce, Engineering or Business Management degree holder, you have equal chance of making a decent career in Instructional Design. The pace at which your career will accelerate though will depend on how fast you learn the nuances and demonstrate your competencies. 

4. Analytical Skills: To an extent, it helps to have an analytical bent of mind. 

5. General Exposure/Knowledge:  General reading, awareness of how business organizations function, interest to read unknown subject matter and read it for "real" understanding are some qualities that will help a prospective Instructional Designer.

6. Visualization Skills: Ability to conceive and create a visual to complement verbal explanation. Create illustrations to convey an abstract concept would be useful. Here, I do not mean that, you have to be an artist.

7. Attitude: Ability to work in team, interact with subject matter experts, clients and with complimentary skilled colleagues are important for Instructional Designers.

8. Time and Project Management: Some sense of time management and project management will be an advantage.

9. Basic Information Technology (IT) savvy: Instructional Designers write content in word processing software. Their other tasks need proficiency in spreadsheets and presentation software. One also needs to be excellent in the use of search engines such as Google for searching a particular information using key words.

The above considerations are useful when you try to evaluate your chances of making it big as an Instructional Designer. Of course, training in Instructional Design improves your chances of entering this profession. 

Vivek Padubidri

1 comment:

  1. English is one of the most important languages in the world. It can even be said to be the single most important language.Other languages are important too

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