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Instructional Designer

Career Overview

An instructional designer creates designs and develops a curriculum or a program that helps build a better learning management system. It is one of the career options that is relatively unheard but has been gaining popularity all over the world. Over the years, teaching methodologies have undergone a sea change in order to make learning interesting and effective. The concept of instructional design applies closely to e-learning platforms with the objective of creating systematic development of instructional material. The role of an instructional designer has addressed the problems of teachers to compete and create dynamic learning environment and ensure students have a valuable learning experience.Instructional designers are involved in identifying the gaps in the learning process among targeted audiences and thus take care of the following:

  • Analysis: Research and analyze the needs of the targeted audience (who, what, where, when)
  • Design: Create a blueprint or structure
  • Develop: Develop content/ strategies of the instructional material based on the blueprint
  • Implement: Apply business skills to implement and manage instructional design projects
  • Evaluation: Assess the instructional design's impact at the end of project and make modifications as needed
A career as an instructional designer can be a rewarding one for those who are obsessed with learning and know how to connect with an audience. It opens up numerous career paths and directions one might want to consider like content specialist, curriculum specialist, school curriculum developer, project manager or e-learning specialist. So, if you have a penchant for writing content with an analytical mind and an eye for detail, you may jumpstart your career as an instructional designer.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs
Projected Growth Rate

The job outlook for instructional designers has been a positive one with the upward trend currently of greater acceptance of alternate forms of learning. Instructional designers may be employed in K-12, higher education, businesses & industries, government, military, and a variety of other instructional & educational institutions and consultancies around the world. Being a niche field, job options are varied for both full time employees and consultants (who can work on a project basis).The remuneration for an instructional designer is attractive especially for those with added qualifications. With experience gained and e- learning concepts consistently growing, there are good opportunities to progress within an organization or otherwise. At an entry level, an instructional designer can earn anything between INR 25,000 to 30,000 p.m. The average pay is in the range of INR 3.7 lacs to 4.0 lacs p.a.

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree

Aspiring instructional designers may earn a range of degrees or come from varied backgrounds. It is desirable to have a bachelor's degree in the field of psychology, education, human resource or business. Some employers prefer a master's degree in instructional design, e- learning or related fields or come from a background of curriculum development, multi media design or education technology. One may also take up various online courses conducted by leading institutes and universities.

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Valued Traits & Abilities

Communication Skills
Detail Oriented
Analytical Skills
Creativity & Innovative
Problem-Solving Skills

Career Opportunities

Instructional design is a desirable career choice with plenty of opportunities for career progression. The career offers ample growth opportunities within an organization and one can climb up to higher positions as project manager or program director. Job opportunities are generally high in large information technology (IT) or knowledge process organizations (KPO) and e-learning vendors. Instructional designers may even take up consultant roles on project basis or be hired in several countries abroad like Singapore, UK, Australia, Middle East and Canada.With a diversified career option, an instructional designer can blend into several career opportunities like:

Graphic Designer

They use tools like InDesign, Photoshop etc. and create graphical representation of ideas, concepts, information and processes. Most of the skills of an instructional designer are transferable and can be articulated with graphic design principles to create and build effective learning processes.

Project Manager

Most instructional designers get promoted as project managers and carry out a broader range of responsibilities. They manage the entire e- learning project and are directly responsible for the team's performance in delivering instructional design, course development and quality control.

Multi Media Developer

Multi -media includes audio recordings, films, power point presentations, interactive games etc. and these specialists work towards indentifying instructional media needs. They create training manuals, materials or design web portals for online learning programs by combining graphics, texts and video.

Top Companies

  • Tata Interactive Services
  • NIIT
  • Wipro Technologies
  • Accenture
  • Aditya Birla Group
  • HCL Infosystems
  • Gurukul Online Learning Solutions

Interview: Instructional Designer

“Instructional Designer is a great field as long as you are willing to learn. Having an open mind towards the content and understanding the pulse of the learner is the key here.”
Prachi Ballal