Instructional Design Careers: Opportunities and Growth Prospects

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With the surge in online learning, Instructional Design (ID) has become a leading profession in today's growing workforce. Whether creating online courses or developing instructor-led training materials, ID professionals are driving the learning experience forward. But what exactly is instructional design? And what are the career opportunities and growth prospects for ID professionals? Let’s dive in and explore!

Instructional Design Explained

Instructional design is the art and science of creating effective learning content using education and communication theories, multimedia design, and human psychology....

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Become and IDOL: Leadership Development with Susan Teague | 89

Guest: Susan Teague

In this episode, Susan Teague shares her career journey in learning and development.

Listen to this episode below: 

Subscribe to Become an IDOL Podcast: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast 

Connect with Susan on LinkedIn

Are you looking for a no-nonsense formula for creating engaging courses and training? Check out my new book, The Do It Messy Approach: A Step-by-Step Guide for Instructional Designers and Online Learners (IDOLs) on Amazon.

Enjoy the Episode Transcript below:

Robin Sargent  

Welcome to Become an IDOL. I'm Dr. Robin Sargent, owner of IDOL courses. This is the place where newbies come to learn and veteran share their knowledge.

Robin Sargent  

I have here with me today, Susan Teague. And I found Susan on well, you guessed it LinkedIn. She made an insightful comment on on one of my posts, and I just knew she'd be a great guest to have. And I'm sure...

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The Importance of Instructional Design in Vocational Education

What is a Vocational School?

A vocational school, also known as a trade school or career school, is a type of educational institution that specifically prepares students for a certain trade or career. These schools focus on providing hands-on, practical training, and typically offer programs in fields such as healthcare, technology, mechanics, culinary arts, and many others. The goal of a vocational school is to equip students with the job-specific skills they need to jump right into the workforce upon graduation, often in less time than traditional post-secondary education institutions.

Examples of Vocational Schools

Vocational schools are widespread and varied, each offering unique programs tailored to specific careers. For instance, Le Cordon Bleu is a renowned culinary institute established in Paris, providing aspiring chefs with unmatched cooking and baking skills. Another is Universal Technical Institute which offers specialized programs in automotive, diesel, motorcycle, and...

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Enroll in the NEW IDOL Academy!


Become an Instructional Designer with the NEW IDOL Academy

Embarking on a career in instructional design? Or is it time to up-skill and take your current career to the next level? Look no further than IDOL Academy's comprehensive 24-week curriculum, now with a new gamified learning platform! IDOL Academy is the first and only state-authorized vocational school for Instructional Design and Online Learning Development. This program equips you with the tools, techniques, and insider knowledge you need to excel in the industry. From skill development to certification to career coaching, IDOL Academy's newest program will help you stand out in your search for instructional design jobs.


The Proof is in the Data

The IDOL team has spent the past four years analyzing the success and feedback of academy students. Dr. Robin Sargent, IDOL Academy's Head of School, says:

The new platform definitely a reinvestment into the IDOL Academy. It was built based on where we are at four...

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Become an IDOL 75: Accessibility in eLearning with Samuel Apata

Guest: Samuel Apata, Senior eLearning Developer | Starbucks

In this episode, I will be chatting with Samuel Apata, currently a Senior eLearning Developer for Starbucks. He has over 8 years of experience developing and retaining talent for organizations like T-Mobile, American Airlines and GM Financial. Listen in to here us chat about accessibility! You'll want to know the accessibility minimums to  incorporate into course building, the guidelines you'll want to pay attention to on federal and state levels and finding the balance to not stifle your creativity! 

Listen to this episode below: 

Subscribe to Become an IDOL Podcast: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast

Here's a little bit about Samuel: 

Samuel Apata is a dedicated instructional designer with over 8 years of experience developing and retaining talent for organizations like T-Mobile, American Airlines, GM Financial, and currently Starbucks. He holds a graduate degree in...

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Applying Film Theory to eLearning

We as instructional designers and eLearning developers wear many hats. Consider one more!

When we create instructional materials, we have to think very carefully not just about the content, but also about the visual design. Everything should have a purpose and be tied to the learning objectives. Visuals should always reinforce the content. If a picture or illustration does not have a very clear purpose and connection to the content, then it actually can take away from the learning experience. (Think of extraneous cognitive load.)

This idea brings me back to film school. One of my majors for my undergraduate degree was Film and Media Studies. Because it focused heavily on film theory, I learned how to critically analyze the media I consumed. The foundation of critical analysis and film theory is film history; I’ve linked the textbook that got me started.

One of the things you learn about in film theory is that early cinema took direct cues from theater. In theater,...

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Become an IDOL 73: Success Story with Marilyn Day former Career Coach

Guest: Marilyn Day,  Instructional Designer | Google

In this episode, I will be chatting with Marilyn Day, an IDOL courses Academy member who transitioned into an Instructional Designer in about 6 months landing an ID role with IDOL Talent first and then Google shortly after. She worked previously as a career coach. The search of creating something to present instead of continuously verbally repeating the same information piqued her interest in the field of Instructional Design. Hear her story of how she was able to successfully transition into this field and also serve as a coach within IDOL courses Academy. 

Listen to this episode below:

Subscribe to Become an IDOL Podcast: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast

Let me tell you a little bit about Marilyn:

Marilyn joined IDOL courses Academy in Fall of 2021. She worked full time with 2U where she helped students as a career coach. She learned about Instructional Design and was able to go...

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Advocating for Accessibility


It’s now becoming common knowledge that humans have a wide range of cognitive differences, in addition to the physical ones that are more readily apparent. However, we’re still just scratching the surface with our understanding of conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. With that emerging comprehension comes persistent stigmas. I’ve experienced them in my own family and encountered them in the learning and development field.


In fact, what spurred me to write this was getting blocked by a doctor who has an active social media and podcast presence because I asked her to consider not using background music that contained vocals, as the vocals competed with what she said aloud. That doctor also is a professor at a state university, which made me wonder if she provides accommodations for her neurodivergent students. (Learning differences don’t go away when a person enters medical school, after all.)


This reminded me that we still have a...

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ID and Ed Tech: They Intersect More than You May Realize

When I was in a teacher credentialing program, I apprenticed under two mentor teachers, both of whom frequently integrated technology with their instructional practices. I took that idea and ran with it, first when I developed and taught lessons in their classrooms, and later when I flew solo in my own classroom.


Soon I began to think about how I could take that inclination, strength, and interest I had in using technology for learning, and actually specialize in it. That’s how I ended up enrolling in a master’s program in educational technology. I quickly learned what it meant to earn a Master of Science degree – literature reviews and research papers!


What does this have to do with educational technology? Well, instructional practices should be grounded in solid research – in studies that are peer-reviewed, published, and with findings that usually are reinforced through subsequent studies....

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Lessons about Visual Design that I Neglected to Follow

As a freelance artist who has studied and produced art for years, I thought visual design would come naturally to me and yet it was the one thing I neglected in instructional design. In fact, when it came to visual design in the courses I created, I failed, miserably. The reason is simple. I didn’t pay attention to it. I was solely focused on instructional design principles, content, and assessments. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even realize that I was neglecting something so important until someone pointed it out to me. I mean who neglects CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and doesn’t even know it?! Surely not me… I joke. 


I decided that I was going to have to go back to my roots. As an artist, when I got stuck, I turned to the works of artists I admired such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Francisco Clemente and Elizabeth Murray. Their work inspired me and gave me new ideas. This time, I turned to magazines and...

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