Instructional Design: A New Career Path


E-learning bridges the gap between learners and quality education and makes it just a click (or maybe two) away.

At a time when education breaks the boundaries of physical schools and colleges, e-learning has become a revolutionary concept that every educator, teacher, training institute, and organisation is trying to adopt in their teaching practices. The e-learning content is given shape by subject matter experts, visual content developers, and instructional designers.

In this article, we would focus on how the career path for the Instructional Designers (IDs) looks like. The IDs are responsible for curating the learning journey of a student. They focus to impart learning in the most effective way for learners.

While our conventional education system still piggy-backs the ineffective and antiquated syllabus and forces the students to study a predefined set of subjects, the e-learning industry provides a more flexible, updated and customized environment wherein the learner can control what he/she chooses to learn. This entire learning journey that the student experiences online is curated especially in order to make the course/training effective.

Now, the first question is how do instructional designers make e-learning effective?

The instructional designers first analyse the needs of the learners and then systematically create a set of instructions to help them acquire the skills they wish to learn by the end of the training.

An ID’s job role is niche and relatively lesser known (for now) but is incredibly rewarding. If you happen to love teaching and experimenting with various teaching methods – being an Instructional Designer can be in your list of possible career paths.

One such person is Kopal Seth.

Kopal did her Masters in English Literature from Delhi University. She had a keen interest in teaching from a young age and planned to teach literature at a university. After college, she started looking for opportunities in teaching and stumbled upon her first job. She took the mantle of a curriculum developer where she developed video-based content for schools.

Once she learned the basics, she wanted to try more and landed her next stint as an Instructional Designer. In her 2+ years of working as an ID, she has spent her time creating simplified and meaningful learning content for the target audience.

Kopal feels that being an ID brings out one’s skills as a teacher. For her, the must-have skills for an ID are the ability to simplify a subject, teach it in the easiest way possible, and keen attention to the details. She thoroughly enjoys directing the learning journey for the learners through Internshala Trainings.

And, the best part of it all? She learns a new skill every 6-9 months with each new project she works on while she is fulfilling her dream of teaching thousands of students.

So, as an ID, what can you expect from your job?

From Kopal’s experience, you can gauge that it’s an exciting role and would be just perfect for you if you had a knack for teaching. Although, again, it’s a very niche role that’s still picking up in the market, now quality education and training are becoming a desperate need for not just schools or colleges but also for top-notch corporate organisations.

Whether you want to teach Physics to school students, Business Communication Skills to college students or corporates – Instructional Design as a career path has everything to offer.

1. Say Hello to a job that lets you learn and explore non-stop

Who said learning had to stop after school? If you love learning new skills and exploring different teaching methods, you will certainly enjoy this job role. You will get a chance to learn something new with every project (remember Kopal’s experience? A new skill – definitely!). No project will be executed the same way and you will continuously explore new avenues to teach skills in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

2. Change and grow with technology

With technological developments, you have a chance to experiment and create what can be the absolute learning experiences for students. Whether it’s the existing software, upcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Virtual & Augmented Reality, you will have a chance to explore new technologies and be a part of the e-learning revolution first-hand.

3. Instructional design has incredible scope in the future

As the e-learning industry continues to expand every day, the job role of an Instructional designer becomes more and more important. The instructional designer is responsible for the students’ or learners’ learning experience and that does not just include what should be taught, it also includes how things should be taught.

In the future, the need for curating authentic learner experiences will be the utmost priority of any educator, training institute or organisation. Moreover, conventional teaching methods are limited to a classroom. But the learning experiences, the technology, the techniques, everything gets updated with time online. When you’re a part of the e-learning circle, you will be constantly challenged to one-up your own teaching skills (and yes, these challenges will be amazing).

4. Make an impact

Last, but not the least, you have this incredible chance of making an impact on not just a class of 40-50 students but thousands (or even millions) of learners. E-learning is open for all students all over the world. As an ID, you would get a chance to work on projects (big and small) and inspire and teach students all over the world!

E-learning has not just brought about a revolution in how students learn, but also how teachers teach. Instructional Designers understand the importance of teaching in ways that are student/learner-centric. They address the problem that conventional teaching doesn’t and focus on the learners’ psyche rather than the course material that must be taught. And that’s exactly what makes this role a key player in the e-learning revolution.

About the Author
Author: Sarvesh Agrawal
Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder & CEO of Internshala – an internship & training platform. An alumnus of IIT Madras, Sarvesh has worked with Capital One, Barclays, and Aviva plc before launching his own venture. Over the past seven years, he is on a mission to build a ‘world-full of opportunities’ for students by providing meaningful internships and reducing the skill gap between the industry and the students.

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