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Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. It's an Instructional designer dream world.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
There is a lot of attention paid late to instructional design position. Why? Well, simply put, there are jobs. Many jobs? Don't believe it...well, see my educational technology and instructional technology jobs portal or the one for my department in Instructional Systems Technology (IST jobs portal). (Sidenote: I had a blog post back in April 2008 on job searching in the field of educational technology. It was likely my most accessed blog post ever.

Instructional Designer Jobs Hot: The Gates Foundation has a new 16 page report (April, 2016) on Instructional Design in Higher Education (full report or appendix). Tthere are also many upcoming free webinars on instructional design. Interesting data. Seems that the field of educational technology is getting much attention. According to this report, there are 13,000 instructional designers in the USA alone. Of these 13,000, most of them (i.e., 87 percent) at least have a master’s degree and 32 percent have a Ph.D. More interestingly, perhaps, most are females (67 percent). The sample size is solid with 780 respondents. The average age is 45.  See the Intentional Futures website. A figure from the Gates report is below.
More recap data from this report from Gates was published a day or two ago in Campus Technology. Survey: Instructional Designers 'Pivotal' in Tech Adoption, Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology., May 9, 2016 Here is a quote from it:
                "Respondents said they wear "many hats," doing design, training, support and management activities during a workday. For example, 54 percent reported that they manage projects multiple times a day, and another 19 percent do so at least once a day. Sixty percent said they perform technology training at least once a day, and 49 percent said they performed pedagogical training just as often."

The Gates Report is one of many reports lately signaling the high demand for instructional designers as well as those in the field of educational or instructional technology in general. There are jobs!
For instance, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a trends report. Back on February 29, 2016, they had a series of articles on ten key trends. One of those trends related to instructional design. Instructional Design: Demand grows for a new breed of academic, The Chronicle of Higher Education by Dan Berrett.
In it, there is a chart showing that the percent college students taking at least one online course grew from 9.6 percent in 2002 to 28 percent in 2014. And membership in the flagship organization for the field of instructional design--AECT--grew from 1,646 members in 2006 to 2,490 in 2016. That is quite a jump! My friend, Dr. Phil Harris, Executive Director of AECT, was quite pleased with these trends when I talked to him about the data below.

Again, jobs...there are jobs! In fact, of the ten trends mentioned in the report from the Chronicle of HE, this is the only one related to jobs (see The Trends Report: Ten Key Shifts in Higher Education). The others relate to things like faculty productivity, digital transcripts, leadership, marketing of the university, outsourcing aspects of college, the scrutiny of research today, university governance, restrictions on speech, and so on. So the highlighting of instructional design as one of these mega-trends is particularly salient.
Jobs. Yes, there are jobs today in instructional design and educational technology. When I visit a college campus it is not unusual for someone to tell me that they have gone from 2 or 3 instructional designers back in the 1990s to 15 or 20 or more today. Jobs. Yes, there are tons of jobs! Now do we have the flexibility in the training programs out there to find ways to ramp up the number of professionals graduating in this field in the coming decade to meet the demand?

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

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