So you want an instructional design job? 

Professionals in the instructional technology and instructional design space need to be skilled in a number of areas to be eligible for current job openings. I have recently become curious on what current tools and skills recruiters are frequently listing in job postings for this field. To be marketable and eligible for a job as an instructional designer, it would make sense for one to be aware of this skill and tool-set, increase one's proficiency in areas she or he feels s/he is lacking, and monitor changes in the field to stay relevant. 

Popular skills: tools and technology

Job listings list requirements for basic competency in standard office equipment including computers, photocopiers, scanners, etc. As you can image, proficiency in a number of software applications is essential to most instructional design jobs. Some of the most common software tools I've seen listed include:

  • Adobe Captivate
  • Adobe FrameMaker
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Blackboard Learn
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Performance Technology Associates DocuTools
  • Trivantis CourseMill
  • Worldwide Instructional Design System
  • Adobe Flash (I believe flash is being rapidly phased out and replaced with tablet-compatible technologies)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud design tools – Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign
  • Adobe Creative Cloud video editing tools – Premier, Audition, etc. 
  • Snagit
  • Camtasia

Popular skills: interpersonal workplace attributes

A number of interpersonal skills consistently show up in job postings. These include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Instructing
  • Learning strategies
  • Writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Active listening
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Monitoring
  • Speaking
  • Active learning

But wait, there's more

I found a cool list of instructional designers' tasks, tools, technology, knowledge, skills, abilities, work activities, educational requirements, and other data that commonly shows up in job postings on Here's more information for those interested.