e-ISSN: 1309-517X
What are employers expecting from instructional design and learning technology professionals across sectors?

Nicole L. Weber 1 * , Corine McCarthy 2, Katie Campbell 1, Hannah Bauer 1

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 16, Issue 3, Article No: ep510

Submitted: 22 February 2024, Published Online: 10 May 2024

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As new technologies and learning practices emerge, the way instructional design and learning technology (IDLT) professionals conduct their work evolves. With this constant evolution comes a change in employer expectations of IDLT professionals. This convergent mixed methods study analyzed 130 IDLT-related position descriptions and interviewed 12 IDLT leaders from the K12, nonprofit, higher education, and corporate sectors to identify current expectations related to degree qualifications, knowledge, skills, and abilities expected from IDLT professionals. Results included a preference for a master’s degree-level qualification, at times due to bureaucracy, and an interest in the combination of academic preparation with instructional design experience. Additionally, employers shared that they were interested in an advanced understanding and adaptable application of IDLT theories, models, and frameworks, as well as a need for non-specific IDLT skills (e.g., communication and collaboration) and familiarity with IDLT-related technologies (e.g., learning management system and course authoring software). These results provide valuable insight for those looking to join IDLT field, current IDLT professionals interested in upskilling, and educational programs preparing future IDLT professionals for the workforce.



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