Meet the instructional design consultant

R-Jay Wilde is an instructional design consultant with more than a decade of experience in the field of instruction design. He a fellow PhD student in Utah State University's Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department with me. He recently sent out some helpful pointers to students interested in building a career in instructional design.

Instructional design advice 

Hey ITLS Students,

I recently had a student tell me (in a rather discouraged tone) that she
had no experience and came from a foreign country and that made it hard to
find jobs.

Consider a couple of points:

  1. You are a student in one of the strongest Instructional Design programs in the country. Do not forget that!
  2. As a student in ITLS you are acquiring a solid foundation in theory and learning science. Tools knowledge is important, but theory is more important. I personally hired many people with solid understanding of theory over experience and knowledge of tools. Besides, the tools change every couple of years, sometimes the changes are significant enough that it puts everybody back at zero, meaning everyone has to relearn the tools.
  3. Experience only matters if you know what you are doing. The very worst curriculum I ever encountered was developed by a person who boasted 8 years of experience as an  Instructional Designer. This person had no formal training in the field and had never made the effort to adequately educate themselves on design theory. Basically they had been doing very poor instructional design for eight years. You are armed with the theory, your potential to do good instructional design is higher than those without the theory.
  4. Many companies today have a global employee base and with that a need to train people in other languages with other cultures to consider. Your experience coming from another country can be a strength for such global companies. If you can design training in a desirable language, you could be extremely valuable. Some of the hot languages and cultures include:
  • Japanese (very few Japanese people speak English and their culture is difficult for western thinkers to grasp),
  • Chinese (China is the largest and one of the fastest growing markets in nearly every industry),
  • German (because of workers unions and laws, many bodies of training have to be delivered in German
  • Spanish (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina tend to be very fast growing labor markets).

I hope this helps some of you.

R-Jay Wilde 
Artist, Writer, Speaker, Teacher 

Photo credit: "Cathedral of Learning" by hjl is licensed under CC BY 2.0.