Host said: How did you get your start doing instructional design specialist work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?
Do you need a particular educational background?
Check out the blog on Instructional Design Interview Questions...it may hold your answer...
I have seen people with English, Communications, Computer Science, Tech Writing, Human Resources, Training & Development, Curriculum & Development and Industrial Engineering become great Instructional Designers. You don't have to have a degree in it. I don't think you should get an online degree.
Get on NSPI and ASTD websites and see if you can find out what it is about ID that you like. Take an online career test and see if it comes out ID. Go to a local college/university that teaches ID and interview the department staff. Go to a local college/university admissions and ask to take their career (major) selection test (usually about $15) and have them interpret it for you. Get their catalog of courses and see if you are interested in those classes listed under ID. (you should be ecstatic about the actual classes and topics listed under your major, or you should move to something else.)
See if you can ask a local large company's Human Resources department if you can meet and sit with some ID's in their cubes and watch them work and ask them questions about their current AND PAST jobs (so you get twice as much info) and their education and original career aspirations...I bet you'll be surprised that almost none have ID degrees. However, if you are starting out, get into a good school and get an ID degree...it is a great degree and a great profession. I am one of the few who has one and have been working in this career for years in several major cities and I love it.