A Career (and Degree!) in Instructional Design

Today’s educators are called to be an expert at many things — a course-developer, online learning expert, a technologist. Other more traditional skills are also needed, of course, such as being a great communicator, motivator, good listener, empathetic, energetic and creative. Yes, an educator’s “must-have” skills list goes on and on.

For educators who are interested in honing their course design and creation skills using leading technologies, a relatively new and expanding field is catching their interest: Instructional Design and Technology (IDT). Instructional design is the science and art of creating innovative, efficient and collaborative training programs that power exceptional learning experiences.

Instructional Designers in the Real World

Instructional design-focused educators work in a variety of settings. Working in academia as a K–12 or higher education teacher are two area that should come quickly to mind. But the field is much broader. Instructional design champions bring their expertise to other learning environments, including corporate settings, working in a company’s Learning and Organizational Development department.

Career opportunities exist in nonprofits, too, where the mission includes a focus on education and training, such as an organization that helps underemployed individuals attain more meaningful employment using new and effective instruction methods.

Instructional designers also work in special education, healthcare and publishing. You’ll find them employed by museums and the military — and most any environment where education and training are a priority.

While the types of companies and industries vary, there’s a common thread: Those who work in the educational field of instructional design and technology make important, lasting contributions to organizations and their people.

Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology

If your passions include training, developing and delivering courses and getting the most from today’s technology, an advanced degree specializing in instructional design can open up many well-paying doors of opportunity for you.

Salary.com states that the average salary for positions that require “blended learning skills” — an approach that combines online education with place-based classroom methods — is $143,056.

According to payscale.com, the salaries for an individual who attained a Master of Education, Instructional Design and Technology degree varies by role, employer and other factors, such as years of experience.

Here are some of the more common instructional design-related job titles and their average salaries:

  • Instructional Designer: $64k
  • Sr. Instructional Designer (Training and Development): $87k
  • Training Manager: $90k
  • Training and Development Manager: $80k
  • Elementary School Teacher: $45k
  • Training Director: $100k
  • Senior Learning and Development Specialist: $81k

Learn about the five ways UC makes earning your online master’s degree easier.

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Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology 

A great way to supercharge your career in instructional design is by earning a master’s degree. The University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education in Instructional Design and Technology (M.Ed IDT) is a fully online degree program that helps students develop the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate learning using the latest online and digital tools. Our M.Ed in Instructional Design and Technology doesn’t require a bachelor’s in education degree. Our online-study students’ backgrounds include communications, training and education and experience in business.

The M.Ed in Instructional Design program’s educators help students examine current and projected trends in blended and online learning. They explore leading technologies and eLearning tools together, discuss online classroom best practices and relevant study material that gives today’s instructional designers the foundation they need to design, manage and lead online and blended classrooms.

“The Instructional Design and Technology program granted me enormous freedom to pursue my interests with hands-on, project-based assignments. This flexibility allowed me to tailor my work and resume according to my interests in the IDT field.”
– Mitchell C. University of Cincinnati Student

Online M.Ed Instructional Design Curriculum

Students enrolled in the online instructional design and technology master’s program participate in a 30 credit-hour program, which includes these courses:

  • Instructional Design introduces the core fundamentals of IDT and guides you toward a strong understanding of the systematic design of instruction.
  • Conducting User Experience Focus Groups introduces you to the use of focus groups to help assess user experience (UX) in learning design.
  • Trends and Issues in Learning Technology Evaluation assists you in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate and critique learning technologies.

Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree

If this will be your first experience earning a degree online, here are a few of the things you can look forward to in the unique learning environment for the M.Ed in instructional design and technology degree:

  • The program is delivered 100% online, with no required campus visits which saves you time traveling to and from class.
  • You can study part- or full-time, and this gives you the flexibility to balance work and family obligations with your education.
  • You’ll enjoy a diverse program with many opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning and project-based assignment and access to our state-of-the-art virtual labs.
  • You’ll be inspired by our world-class faculty who are leaders in the field of instructional design.
  • The program meets today’s demands of remote and socially distanced teaching formats.
  • You’ll work with a dedicated Academic Advisor and a Student Success Coordinator who provides one-on-one support.  Consider them your trusted partners who help you manage your time and ensure you’re meeting degree requirements to get you to graduation.

Ready to Explore the M.Ed Instructional Design and Technology Program?

Our University of Cincinnati Online staff is here to help you explore the next step toward your master’s degree in instructional design, a flexible degree program in a rapidly growing field. Applications are reviewed three times a year in November, April, and July for any upcoming semester.

At the University of Cincinnati, we’re focused on meeting the needs of today’s modern students and have more than 20 years of experience in the online education space. TheBestSchools.org ranks us as #1 in Ohio and #16 nationally as an online college leader.

Connect online with an advisor today or call 833-556-7600 to learn more about the online M.Ed in instructional design and technology program.


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