Getting a job in Instructional Design with a Masters and NO experience.

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schamp in Lake Charles, Louisiana

74 months ago

I am a grad student in Instructional Technology who will graduate in June. I have begun the job hunt already and as I have been reading through qualifications and requirements I am beginning to see a trend of "experience necessary", and usually 5 plus years.. I am also not quite sure how all of the info and software I've been exposed to comes together to produce a product in real world situations. I feel on some level that I wasn't given the opportunity to apply the knowledge I've been given enough for me to really "get it". I suppose this is a fear many new grads might have, but my question is....do employers train for these positions? and how do you get a job fresh out of school with no experience?

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schamp in Lake Charles, Louisiana

73 months ago

Yeah it does seem like an inopportune time for breaking into a job field for the first time. I have applied to several positions and have had no luck. I recently joined linkedin.com. It seems like it might be a good place to get advice from seasoned professionals. You should check it out.

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taburere in Riverdale, Maryland

65 months ago

I received my master's degree in Aug. 2007 and was hired with no ID experience for an ID position in Jan. 2008 that required 3-5 years experience. My experience is that no, companies/institutions do not train for these types of positions, but I will say I was eased into the position gradually. I think most institutions realize there is some definite ramp-up time for folks like us that have the theory down pat from grad. school but don't have any real-world application experience.

The tips I can give apply to most jobs and might not be that helpful, but I feel are what helped me in getting my job:

*Apply to jobs even if they say they require 2+ years of experience. Remember that institutions write job descriptions for what they consider to be the perfect candidate, but let's face it, they're never going to get a candidate that possesses every qualification on their "wish list."

*Make sure that you tailor every cover letter/resume to every job for which you apply. Pay close attention to the required qualifications specified in the job posting, and then explicitly highlight those qualifications in your cover letter/resume. Having served on a handful of hiring committees, I can honestly say that what often happens is that there are so many resumes that I skim through looking for the qualifications mentioned in the cover letter. If they mention them in the cover letter, then I'm more inclined to look carefully at the resume.

*Make that there are absolutely no errors whatsoever in your resume/cover letter. ID work involves a lot of writing and if you can't demonstrate your writing ability in a cover letter/resume, you're less likely to make that positive first impression.

*If you participated in ID projects in your grad. school, be sure to put together some kind of portfolio. Be prepared to discuss in detail what your contributions were to the project. Bring a writing sample with you that further demonstrates your expert writing ability

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schamp in Austin, Texas

65 months ago

I ended up getting a job as a Presentation Specailist in Austin, TX. I suppose it's a good start. I think it helps that I moved to a city that wasn't as effected by the economic situation.

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sreddy in Overland Park, Kansas

64 months ago

Congrats!!!
I am in a similar position too... new grad with no exp.
Any advice on how to successfully gain the first job would be appreciated!!!

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ctucker in Cary, North Carolina

64 months ago

You might want to consider doing some volunteer work to build your portfolio. Volunteer work is still experience, after all, and if you can show people your work it makes it easier to sell your skills.

Check out this blog post about an organization looking for volunteer designers. This post is from September, but they may still be looking for help (or know someone else who is).
onehundredfortywords.com/2009/09/17/volunteer-opportunity-to-build-your-elearning-portfolio/

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sreddy in Overland Park, Kansas

64 months ago

ctucker in Cary, North Carolina said: You might want to consider doing some volunteer work to build your portfolio. Volunteer work is still experience, after all, and if you can show people your work it makes it easier to sell your skills.

Check out this blog post about an organization looking for volunteer designers. This post is from September, but they may still be looking for help (or know someone else who is).
onehundredfortywords.com/2009/09/17/volunteer-opportunity-to-build-your-elearning-portfolio/

Thank you for the advice. Contacted Tegan Acree for volunteer opportunity. Hoping for the best!!!

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sreddy in Overland Park, Kansas

64 months ago

schamp in Austin, Texas said: Instructional Design/Technology degrees can prepare you for much more than just an "Instructional Design" job. What I came across was the problem of not being able to find a "designer" job right out of college. The college I graduated from didn't necessarily offer internships, and with working full time on top of my busy school schedule, I didn't have personal time to devote to it. I agree that volunteering to build up your portfolio, as Ctucker said, is an excellent idea. But, as in my case, I needed to make some real $$ out of the gate. I settled for working for a financial company as a Presentation Specialist. There are so many jobs that encompass what we studied that professors at universities often know nothing about; I found their direction and advise concerning post grad employment to be pretty much useless. Go on a job search engine and enter in the name of a program or a specific task you learned in school that was particularly enjoyable. A list of jobs that require that skill or program knowledge will come up, and you are sure to find something in that list that you never even thought of. Another thing I did interview people who I thought might be able to give me ideas of positions I qualified for. I was interested in alternative medicine, and hoped that I might be able to use my knowledge to help support things like acupunture and herbology, so I interviewed the director of an acupunture school to find out if someone with my educational background might be useful. Turns out the school I spoke with was too small to support an instructional designer, but others might! You can turn this into whatever you want. I personally decided to go the route that makes the most money for someone with no experience.

That's a nice advice schamp!
I will start looking in that direction. What other job titles could you suggest other than ID and presentation spl. for the skills we gained in our program?

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DreamQwest in Atlanta, Georgia

55 months ago

Volunteer, intern, look for small contract jobs, or just make up some experience by finding topics to train on. I also suggest to keep a portfolio online of all of your work whether it's paid, non-paid, or graduate work. We're always looking for new talent to take on extra work we can't handle, but you must take initiative, be self-managed, and be a fast learner. Don't look for someone to give you experience, jump in and create it for yourself!

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Highland Zoey in Highland, Indiana

53 months ago

DreamQwest in Atlanta, Georgia said: Volunteer, intern, look for small contract jobs, or just make up some experience by finding topics to train on. I also suggest to keep a portfolio online of all of your work whether it's paid, non-paid, or graduate work. We're always looking for new talent to take on extra work we can't handle, but you must take initiative, be self-managed, and be a fast learner. Don't look for someone to give you experience, jump in and create it for yourself!

DreamQwest:

I've been searching for a job in HR, Business Development, Consulting, and other areas such as Talent Management. Majority of companies I applied for were listed in INDEED.COM base in Chicago, however no one ever offer me an interview. My experience in business piqued when I was hired to open and operate the non-gaming section of a multi-million casino, hired 230 management personnel, 15 years experience in business, work as a consultant for ASEAN under Asian American Trade Consultant, obtained a bachelor degree in psychology, trained and experienced in statistical analysis, surveys of human behavior in the workforce. Finished my MA degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology 3.75 GPA, which I love and enjoy since it is part of my professional career, wrote a paper on executive coaching and its impact in business. No one is willing to hire me and take my experience, profit from it and prosper. I am not positive if companies are really serious of success or they just trying to get by with less competent management. One of my fear is that majority of companies fell into the category of wasteful management and basically companies lose in the network of global competitiveness instead of hiring quality people corporations is settling for quantities in the hopes it is enough to compete.

Thanks GLW

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DreamQwest in Atlanta, Georgia

53 months ago

have you been networking or sought out jobs on LinkedIn?

Highland Zoey in Highland, Indiana said: DreamQwest:

I've been searching for a job in HR, Business Development, Consulting, and other areas such as Talent Management. Majority of companies I applied for were listed in INDEED.COM base in Chicago, however no one ever offer me an interview. My experience in business piqued when I was hired to open and operate the non-gaming section of a multi-million casino, hired 230 management personnel, 15 years experience in business, work as a consultant for ASEAN under Asian American Trade Consultant, obtained a bachelor degree in psychology, trained and experienced in statistical analysis, surveys of human behavior in the workforce. Finished my MA degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology 3.75 GPA, which I love and enjoy since it is part of my professional career, wrote a paper on executive coaching and its impact in business. No one is willing to hire me and take my experience, profit from it and prosper. I am not positive if companies are really serious of success or they just trying to get by with less competent management. One of my fear is that majority of companies fell into the category of wasteful management and basically companies lose in the network of global competitiveness instead of hiring quality people corporations is settling for quantities in the hopes it is enough to compete.

Thanks GLW

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Andoneboldten in Newport News, Virginia

51 months ago

schamp in Lake Charles, Louisiana said: I am a grad student in Instructional Technology who will graduate in June. I have begun the job hunt already and as I have been reading through qualifications and requirements I am beginning to see a trend of "experience necessary", and usually 5 plus years.. I am also not quite sure how all of the info and software I've been exposed to comes together to produce a product in real world situations. I feel on some level that I wasn't given the opportunity to apply the knowledge I've been given enough for me to really "get it". I suppose this is a fear many new grads might have, but my question is....do employers train for these positions? and how do you get a job fresh out of school with no experience?

"Its not what you know, its who you know."

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Andoneboldten in Newport News, Virginia

51 months ago

schamp in Lake Charles, Louisiana said: I am a grad student in Instructional Technology who will graduate in June. I have begun the job hunt already and as I have been reading through qualifications and requirements I am beginning to see a trend of "experience necessary", and usually 5 plus years.. I am also not quite sure how all of the info and software I've been exposed to comes together to produce a product in real world situations. I feel on some level that I wasn't given the opportunity to apply the knowledge I've been given enough for me to really "get it". I suppose this is a fear many new grads might have, but my question is....do employers train for these positions? and how do you get a job fresh out of school with no experience?

"Its not what you know. Its who you know."

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Mike in Gloucester, Virginia

49 months ago

Schamp, one of the things you can do to get your foot in the door is to produce some work using various software programs. I highly recommend downloading the trial version of ARTICULTA, Adobe e-learning, or some other software and "producing" a short course based on courses you took in grad schoolDon't tell an employer what you can do, SHOW THEM! Add this to your portfolio. Secondly, you can also create a web page. Many templates exist to enable you to do this and you can "showcase" your work here for perspective employers. One site for this is WIX.com. Your Internet provider may even allow you to post your site through their server free of charge (I have Cox cable and they allow this). Good luck and hang in there. Its a tough market for entry level but don't give up!

Mike

schamp in Lake Charles, Louisiana said: I am a grad student in Instructional Technology who will graduate in June. I have begun the job hunt already and as I have been reading through qualifications and requirements I am beginning to see a trend of "experience necessary", and usually 5 plus years.. I am also not quite sure how all of the info and software I've been exposed to comes together to produce a product in real world situations. I feel on some level that I wasn't given the opportunity to apply the knowledge I've been given enough for me to really "get it". I suppose this is a fear many new grads might have, but my question is....do employers train for these positions? and how do you get a job fresh out of school with no experience?

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VictoriaG in Barberton, Ohio

48 months ago

I would like to speak with you if you have : Lectora, Dreamweaver, and Flash experience with a degree in Post Secondary Adult Education using adult learning theories.

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Dev in Brighton, Massachusetts

48 months ago

VictoriaG in Barberton, Ohio said: I would like to speak with you if you have : Lectora, Dreamweaver, and Flash experience with a degree in Post Secondary Adult Education using adult learning theories.

hi VictoriaG,

In what capacity? Are you a recruiter looking for Instructional Designers/eLearning Dev?

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VictoriaG in Macedonia, Ohio

47 months ago

I am seeking someone who is an Adult Instructional Curriculum and Technology Designer. This means that you have experience in Course Mapping, Learning Objectives, Test creation, and overall course design while developing it in Lectora and DreamWeaver, using Flash, etc. for online engineering courses.

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VictoriaG in Macedonia, Ohio

47 months ago

I am not a recruiter. I have a need where I work for someone who is experienced in curriculum development with strong educational development and the technology of Instructional Design in addition to. We develop engineering education.

Each company designs courses and training in its own way.
We are a professional society and adhere to IACET standards in our development.

This would be a good internship opportunity for a local candidate in Cleveland or Akron Ohio areas.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

47 months ago

I'm available. Please contact me at learn@dreamqwest.com.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

47 months ago

Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia said: I'm available. Please contact me at learn@dreamqwest.com.

I'm sorry, I didn't see the 2nd response. Try pooling from the graduate programs. They may not have a lot of experience. If you need someone with experience, please feel welcome to contact me. I work contracts remotely 90% of the time.

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chintale in Dallas, Texas

47 months ago

You have more experience than you think. Think about the projects and applications you have experience with and transfer that to your resume. Also, don't forget to think about unrelated projects/events you designed and implemented. If you have a hard time getting a job with a company, just get a couple accounts on your own, SELF EMPLOYED, and then have them to write testimonials that you can use to increase your chances of landing the ideal position for you. Get yourself out of that box!!! Good luck!

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Carol H. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

I got a MA in that from Indiana Univ. of PA back in Summer 2001 and even did additional coursework in what I hoped would be a better program at Philadelphia University. The Philadelphia University program was discontinued and the one I graduated from only offers the program at a satellite campus. Most graduate programs in Instructional Design are only adequate for people who already have job experience in training and instructional design, but who want to increase there credentials and pay-scale by obtaining a MA or MS in instructional design. Furthermore, if you are not a web developer, multimedia developer, computer programmer, or a teacher, there are not very many programs that are going to give you any where near the skills you will need to enter the profession of instructional design. Most industry training is done via web applications and multimedia and most instructional design programs only touch the tip of the iceberg of that skill set. I do fear that you may ending up ripped-off and let down by the state in which you receive your degree. The state should not give accreditation to many instructional design programs unless they only agree to admit those who have work experience instructional design or highly-related job or educational experience such as that in IT (Information Technology) or teaching.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

43 months ago

I can agree with that. I moved to Dallas, TX and I noticed a lot of people do not have a Masters degree, but they do have experience in graphic design and multimedia. These are the skills employers are seeking and these are the same skills most graduate degree programs do not teach. I look at my competitors out this way, and the majority of them have associate degrees commanding the same pay I have with a Masters degree. It almost makes me wonder the usefulness of my Masters degree. Then, these employers think because I have a masters degree and some experience that I may be over qualified or that I may demand a higher salary then the norm. It baffles me. I consider myself slightly above entry-level, but not quite mid-level. I too, lack skills is flash development and graphic design though I find ways to get by learning on my own. Univ. of South Florida has a great program, but they started introducing flash right at the end of my program. We were taught hyperscripting using Adobe Authorware, a tool no one ever utilizes. So where do I go from here? Well, I am looking for a job I can do comfortably and then I'm enrolling in some community college to pick up those skills that lacked in my graduate program. IDs weren't required to have all these skills in the past. Though our industry is changing, so does our education. We spend so much money on degrees that don't fully prepare us. I guess that's the business of higher education in today's world.

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Dee in Mableton, Georgia

43 months ago

Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia said: I can agree with that. I moved to Dallas, TX and I noticed a lot of people do not have a Masters degree, but they do have experience in graphic design and multimedia. These are the skills employers are seeking and these are the same skills most graduate degree programs do not teach. I look at my competitors out this way, and the majority of them have associate degrees commanding the same pay I have with a Masters degree. It almost makes me wonder the usefulness of my Masters degree. Then, these employers think because I have a masters degree and some experience that I may be over qualified or that I may demand a higher salary then the norm. It baffles me. I consider myself slightly above entry-level, but not quite mid-level. I too, lack skills is flash development and graphic design though I find ways to get by learning on my own. Univ. of South Florida has a great program, but they started introducing flash right at the end of my program. We were taught hyperscripting using Adobe Authorware, a tool no one ever utilizes. So where do I go from here? Well, I am looking for a job I can do comfortably and then I'm enrolling in some community college to pick up those skills that lacked in my graduate program. IDs weren't required to have all these skills in the past. Though our industry is changing, so does our education. We spend so much money on degrees that don't fully prepare us. I guess that's the business of higher education in today's world.

++++++

Carolyn,

I am in the Atlanta area also and was wondering what community college you have found these additional courses. I have been searching for a way to learn additional ID skills as well.

Thanks!

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Carol H in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

The problem is that many community colleges and ,even universities, do not teach this stuff and if they do it is very introductory. I would go with some tutorial DVDs and/or get books that come with copies of the end result and source code. Just like web design and web development, there's a lot of self-teaching. If you can couple self-teaching with knowing a helpful professional in flash, php, mysql, adobe photoshop/illustration, then, that is even better.

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Carol H in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

43 months ago

ctucker in Cary, North Carolina said: You might want to consider doing some volunteer work to build your portfolio. Volunteer work is still experience, after all, and if you can show people your work it makes it easier to sell your skills.

Check out this blog post about an organization looking for volunteer designers. This post is from September, but they may still be looking for help (or know someone else who is).
onehundredfortywords.com/2009/09/17/volunteer-opportunity-to-build-your-elearning-portfolio/

A portfolio is a must. You have got to have one. When I was job hunting I built a website with graphic design work, and authorware multimedia pieces, and intstructional material that demonstrated my understanding of ADDIE or whatever ID model you may want to select.

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Victoria K in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

43 months ago

I purchased on Amazon some training DVDs - very useful! I went to www.simonsezit.com - they offer introduction chapters to see if it will work for you. Also you might want to go to www.lynda.com tutorials.

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PJ in Detroit, Michigan

42 months ago

Carol H/Carolyn Grace,

So are you saying someone who wants to transition into IT from a different career, will not succeed by obtaining a Master's Degree in IT? There is a program at Wayne State University that is supposedly one of the more reputable programs.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

I'm not saying that at all! The challenge is getting work experience. I find that many people who are in a program, do not even create a portfolio of their work. Secondly, the industry is seeking people with additional skills that are not typically a part of a graduate program. For example, skills in Flash, Photoshop, audio/video editing, videography, voice-over, LMS config, project management, facilitation, etc. IT is a growing field and everyone do not specialize in everything. We just can't. I prefer software and systems training. I specialize in e-learning development. However, my current job is governmental and I deal with more soft skill training. My entire career is based on elearning. However, some ISDs prefer classroom-based training. Some know certain authoring tools and not Flash or Photoshop. It depends. What I can say from all the interviewing I've done, Flash is a biggie. I suggest looking at current job postings and decide what skills to be strong in, whether it's in a particular industry, authoring tool, delivery mode, etc.

I did as Carolyn H. suggested. I ended up self teaching myself quite a bit. Dee, for continuing ed, I would look into the tech colleges in the Atlanta area such as Chattahoochee Tech. Look under 'Design and Media Production Technology' and 'Television Production Technology'. Email me at carolyn.ford@dreamqwest.com, if you have any more questions.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

PJ in Detroit, Michigan said: Carol H/Carolyn Grace,

So are you saying someone who wants to transition into IT from a different career, will not succeed by obtaining a Master's Degree in IT? There is a program at Wayne State University that is supposedly one of the more reputable programs.

You need to find a way to get experience. There is rarely an opportunity to intern and I found few entry-level positions. I started getting experience from freelancing on small projects I found online or creating additional work for myself on the job. I wouldn't suggest volunteering, the work is too intense for that in my opinion considering the cost of software and other factors, but there are workarounds. Email me if anyone wants specifics.

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PJ in Boston, Massachusetts

42 months ago

Thanks for your input, Carolyn. It seems like no matter which field you want to get in to, they want experience, which is a Catch-22, that is why I am here. I have an educational background in Information Technology and I've learned Photoshop through my photography, but my work experience is in something totally different - even 13 years ago I couldn't get my foot in the door with Information Technology, and I worked for an IT company for a few years! I do agree you have to be a go-getter and get creative and build your resume and just keep at it. With my info tech education, Instructional Tech/Design seemed like a good career to transition to where I can help people and also utilize technology.

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Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

I absolutely agree.

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Confused in Nashville, Tennessee

41 months ago

I was wondering what you would suggest to someone who is considering majoring in instructional design. I am getting my bachelor's degree. I currently write for an educational design company as a freelancer. I was thinking about moving out of state to attend WIU's bachelor's degree program in ID. If I don't do this, I will be pursuing something in the health care field.

Do a lot of instructional designers get laid off? Since I won't have much experience, would I have a harder time finding a job? Would I need the master's degree?

I'm trying to research this field as much as possible, but it's difficult to get concrete answers.

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Christy in Cary, North Carolina

41 months ago

Confused in Nashville, Tennessee said: Do a lot of instructional designers get laid off? Since I won't have much experience, would I have a harder time finding a job? Would I need the master's degree?

I hate to be cynical, but job security is pretty much a myth in any field. If you're looking for a job that you can have for your whole career, I think you're going to be disappointed regardless of what you do. The world just doesn't work that way anymore, where people work for one company their whole careers.

That said, demand for instructional designers is strong and is likely to increase in the future. Training departments can be one of the areas first cut if a company has budget problems, of course, but the overall prospect for instructional design is good. It does seem like there are more contract positions than salaried though, so if you really want a "permanent" position, instructional design may not be a good fit for you.

Hopefully the WIU program will help you create a portfolio. If it doesn't, I suggest finding a different program. Some experience through volunteer work will also help you get a job.

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ID in Minneapolis, Minnesota

41 months ago

I agree with Christy in NC about job security being a thing of the past and how training departments are one of the first to be axed. Despite this, there is a strong demand for instructional designers, particularly in eLearning.

Elearning is the future of training as companies reduce travel time for employees and instructors. You don't have to be an expert in eLearning tools (e.g. Captivate, Flash, Articulate) but at least have a working understanding of their features and functionalities. The blended model (part classroom training and part asynchronous eLearning) is also common as this covers adult learners who still want the classroom experience.

If you're wavering between instructional design and health care, how about an instructional designer in health care? I'm an ID who wrote in the health care field and am now in Information Technology. Regardless of the field, a good instructional designer should be able to write in any discipline.

Hope this helps.

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scorpiorider in Portland, Oregon

39 months ago

Carolyn Grace in Atlanta, Georgia said: I can agree with that. I moved to Dallas, TX and I noticed a lot of people do not have a Masters degree, but they do have experience in graphic design and multimedia. These are the skills employers are seeking and these are the same skills most graduate degree programs do not teach. I look at my competitors out this way, and the majority of them have associate degrees commanding the same pay I have with a Masters degree. It almost makes me wonder the usefulness of my Masters degree. Then, these employers think because I have a masters degree and some experience that I may be over qualified or that I may demand a higher salary then the norm. It baffles me. I consider myself slightly above entry-level, but not quite mid-level. I too, lack skills is flash development and graphic design though I find ways to get by learning on my own. Univ. of South Florida has a great program, but they started introducing flash right at the end of my program. We were taught hyperscripting using Adobe Authorware, a tool no one ever utilizes. So where do I go from here? Well, I am looking for a job I can do comfortably and then I'm enrolling in some community college to pick up those skills that lacked in my graduate program. IDs weren't required to have all these skills in the past. Though our industry is changing, so does our education. We spend so much money on degrees that don't fully prepare us. I guess that's the business of higher education in today's world.

I could not agree more with your statement. I obtained my M.Ed in Instructional Technology in 2010 and have not been ableto use it for all the same reasons stated above. I have Lectora and I was told to create some training modules to add to a portfolio to show to employers. You can also freelance for companies too. What kind of software do you have? Lectora is wonderful and I have a professor friend who has written many books and offers all kinds of ideas to help.

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Charles Wagoner in Norman, Oklahoma

36 months ago

I landed a job as an entry-level ISD making $40k per year. The job required a BA in English, Journalism, Education, or Instructional Design/Technology. I have my BA in political science, but when I applied I had completed courses in human learning and ID. That, in addition to a high quality portfolio, was enough to qualify me for the job. I graduate this December, and by the time I finish I will have 1 year of experience, plus grad school on my resume.

So, my recommendation, spend as much effort as possible in refining your portfolio, since you already have the degree. That will really go a long way.

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Carol in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

To Charles Wagononer in Norman, OK.

I have to ask what type of web/multimedia designer and/or development was in your portfolio? Also, given you academic background how did you develop such skills at a high level on your own?

My ongoing problem with many instructional design programs is lack of technological skills taught. Many programs only offer an basic skill set in web/multimedia design and development, but many employer favor these technological skills over that of ISD knowledge, which also is not very strong in many instructional design programs. For example, one doesn't get to experience or deconstruct any professional ISD work. You kind of get a book sort of work flow, kind of like a flow diagram on the ISD process. Bottomline, is it is all very textbook orientated. Who can say constructivism or cognitivism has ever been demonstrated and then discussed in a course after seeing professional work that has been exemplified in any meaningful way. Not so easy to translate this stuff into working practice by simply reading it. The whole ISD process itself is not easy to translate into working practice without having seen, experienced, deconstructed, dissected, and discussed professional work. The implementation of many ISD graduate programs is impractical.

I've got to say Charles Wagoner, you are one very rare person. I am happy for you, but many of us ISD folks that did have a technical degree or a technical background relied on our ISD graduate program to give us that solid foundation. In the end were let down by poorly designed and implemented academic programs.

My degree is quite dated now, got it in eary 2001, but if anyway knows of any way I can turn my useless degree earned from Indiana Univ. Of PA in Adult Education and Communications Technology or the added coursework I took from Philadelphia University (a closed ISD program since like 2010) or other additional IT courses taken into a job using those skills, help me.

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MP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

Confused in Nashville, Tennessee said: I was wondering what you would suggest to someone who is considering majoring in instructional design. I am getting my bachelor's degree. I currently write for an educational design company as a freelancer. I was thinking about moving out of state to attend WIU's bachelor's degree program in ID. If I don't do this, I will be pursuing something in the health care field.

Do a lot of instructional designers get laid off? Since I won't have much experience, would I have a harder time finding a job? Would I need the master's degree?

I'm trying to research this field as much as possible, but it's difficult to get concrete answers.

Hi, I just graduated with a Masters in ID. However as many have stated in this blog, you need experience. I have none, although I am an adjunct instructor who has worked in eLearning for 12 years, I am not prepared. I am taking advise from other experienced IDs to volunteer my services. Good luck

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MP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

Hi, I just graduated with a Masters in ID. However as many have stated in this blog, you need experience. I have none, although I am an adjunct instructor who has worked in eLearning for 12 years, I am not prepared. I am taking advise from other experienced IDs to volunteer my services. Good luck

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Carol of Pittsburgh in New Kensington, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

My reply is in response to two recent postings and invitations for reply comments, one individual is an adjunct instructor and the other person said he/she is from Nashville. Please note all my comments are my opinion based on my and others' experiences and on my past job searches. I no longer expect to be in the ID field.

Many private sector employers of ID professionals require experience. The individual from Nashville is correct; college teachers want to promote their ISD programs and will mislead you, so don't expect many concrete answers. Furthermore, ID programs struggle to get interested applicants. Not many people know the ID field even exists. ID is a difficult field to break into: there is a lack of open positions and the qualifications can be advanced. The Masters' Degree programs in ID are best for those who already work in the ID field because you will get little more than an academic credential from way to many of the academic programs in ID.

Private sector jobs in ID are prone to be contract positions (basically, well-paid temporary work)

Who should get a Masters' or PhD in ID? Those who have an Information Technology background in Web and/or Multimedia Development, K-12 teachers who want to switch fields, and those who already have work experience in ID. Many employers prefer people who have strong technical skills in web and/or multimedia technologies because they want someone who plan, design, assess, and, most importantly, make the actual web or multimedia training. Basically, you are the head of the project and the main person for making the whole thing a reality.

Be sure to remember another route for employment is the public sector: for example, working as a Instuctional Technology professional for a school district.

To the Nashville, TN person I would consider a differenct degree. It just may be too risky; you don't want to waste tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that will not benefit you, not to mention the heartbreat.

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Carolyn Grace in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

36 months ago

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Carolyn Grace in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

36 months ago

scorpiorider in Portland, Oregon said: I could not agree more with your statement. I obtained my M.Ed in Instructional Technology in 2010 and have not been ableto use it for all the same reasons stated above. I have Lectora and I was told to create some training modules to add to a portfolio to show to employers. You can also freelance for companies too. What kind of software do you have? Lectora is wonderful and I have a professor friend who has written many books and offers all kinds of ideas to help.

There is quite a bit of work for Lectora in Atlanta. I am not strong in Lectora nor do I like the tool, my strength is in Adobe Captivate, Adobe Presenter, Adobe Connect, and Articulate. The advice given to you was really good. Create training in Lectora for your portfolio.

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Carolyn Grace in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

36 months ago

MP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Hi, I just graduated with a Masters in ID. However as many have stated in this blog, you need experience. I have none, although I am an adjunct instructor who has worked in eLearning for 12 years, I am not prepared. I am taking advise from other experienced IDs to volunteer my services. Good luck

What do you mean you are not prepared?

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Carolyn Grace in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

36 months ago

We have discussed how many of us lack some skills in graphic and multimedia. What are some specific skills everyone wish they could do when using some of the Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash when developing e-learning in any authoring tool (i.e., Captivate, Lectora, Articulate, etc.)?

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marcos in Jacksonville, Florida

34 months ago

BZAAZ in Orlando, Florida said: DON'T Pigeon hole yourself by focusing just on designing, I graduated with a undergrad degree in Psychology with heavy emphasis on Stats/Research/Learning and I/O Psychology. Think Organizational Development , broad based performance analysis and training. My ID degree is just icing on the cake, a functional high tech tool kit for all sorts of projects. If your in your second year of I/D, start looking for work over the net or approach some business people but don't do Free Work!!! Set up a one man business fair price for good work. A large percentage of people working for companies don't even have a masters degree or even formal higher education . Don't sell yourself short, If you have done any training doing anything then your have experience. Focus on smaller to medium companies and start developing training aids and learning to train. Psychology was a major asset for me since a lot of people can do the technical skills but don't understand what works and why. Ideas are always king so don't sell yourself short, you are probably better than most people working a job. You just have to get out and try......

this is awesome i am also a psych major looking at a instructional design program but have no idea what direction to go in as far as finding a job I am overseas and doing the degree online does anyone have any suggestions at what companies i could tackle or how to set myself up for working over the internet ?

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SR in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

14 months ago

Greetings everyone,

I found this blog a while back, and I found it quite helpful. As with many on here, I also graduated with an Master's in ID. I worked full time while obtaining my degree part time. That was in 2009. It's now 2014, and I've done barely nothing with my degree. I spent time and money to obtain that degree. I've offered to volunteer in different places, but I get a lot of useless rhetoric. To pursue or not to pursue now? That is the question.

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RGina in Oak Park, Illinois

2 months ago

I am delighted to have come across this forum. I'm hoping to get some helpful advice even though the last post was 12 months ago.

I pursued an Adobe Captivate certification one year ago to add to many years of successful training/coaching experience. I have been seeking a part-time or contract role as a bridge to an eLearning position, but after one year I've received very few bites. As a new strategy, I will be pursuing freelance projects.

Would anyone be kind enough to offer advice about the best way to pursue freelance projects? I think the advice about building a mini portfolio is great. Are there sites that anyone has found reputable and a good place to post for assignments?

In addition to Adobe Captivate, I also received certificates for Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator. I have used Illustrator to design a line of products. I am located in Chicagoland if that helps

Thanks so much!

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Carolyn Grace in Missouri City, Texas

2 months ago

Look into Guru and Elance. Even look into craigslist. Also, you don't need to post your work on some other site, create a website to display your work. For example, www.carolynfordburac.com

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RGina in Oak Park, Illinois

2 months ago

Thank you Carolyn Grace! So appreciate the response with an example.

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