Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve fielded questions from people interested in making the move from instructor/trainer to instructional designer/technologist. Two previous posts Breaking into the Business and Jobs in Instructional Design and Technology provide a few job search resources and recommendations for documenting your experience. But is anyone hiring? This post outlines two resources I recommend to anyone considering a career change.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
The OOH is published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that provides information about hundreds of occupational fields. The categories of information provided include: education and experience requirements, salary data, job descriptions, and employment projections. The current projections are for 2008-2018. You can also find specific data related to your State.
To get to the information most closely related to Instructional Design, you’ll need to drill down from Professional to: Education, Training, Library, Museum > Instructional Coordinator.
Other related occupational groups to explore include Art and Design and Media and Communication Related.
Published by the Department of Labor’s Education and Training Administration, O*Net offers a different format with more search options and a detailed framework of information designed for career exploration. The two entries below are a good place to start.
Using these resources:
The detailed information, thorough descriptions, and wealth of data provided on these sites can be helpful in several ways.
- Look for keywords and phrases you can use as starting points for writing about your job-related accomplishments in your resume.
- Look for descriptions of knowledge, skills, and abilities that you can speak to in interviews and provide evidence of in a portfolio.
- Use these sites as a launching pad. Explore. Each career page includes a list of links to related occupations and other related sites.
Instructional design and technology are still relatively new as occupational fields. Hopefully information provided in the OOH and O*Net will expand as the career fields expand. Defining instructional design and technology is a topic in and of itself!
Overall the OOH and O*Net forecasts for jobs in instructional design and technology look good, with job growth “much faster than average.” Include this information as part of your career research and job search. (Don’t neglect networking!)
Have you recently entered instructional design as a second (or third) career? What were your favorite resources for researching the field?
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