Instructional Design Careers in a Digital Transformation Economy

Instructional Design Careers in a Digital Transformation Economy
Mark Clemmons August 13, 2020

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The education industry has evolved a lot during the lockdown. People are more focused on learning new things and switching to a digital platform for gaining new skills due to the risk of close contact with people. And education is not an exception.

E-learning is quite in-demand these days, and so are instructional designers. Those who are not from the e-learning field may not be familiar with the job role. In this current mobile and digital age, the demand for instructional designers is increasing as everyone from students to employees have switched to technology-based learning, training, and skills development.

The lockdown has made people realize the importance of technology and the internet. Let’s explore the digital transformation economy and career opportunities for an instructional designer.

What is a digital transformation economy?

Digital transformation is not just e-commerce and social media. The digital transformation economy is a cultural, operational, and strategized change of an organization or through smart integration of digital technologies, processes, and competencies across all levels and functions in a staged and strategic way.

What is instructional design?

Every sector is embracing digital technology integration and education is no exception. That’s why instructional design is important. It applies systematic methodology to design the development of content and experiences to help users acquire knowledge and skills.

Curriculum and content that reach students must be tailored to meet their needs. For e-learning, instructional design increasingly leverages technology to create digitally-relevant curriculum. As more people and institutions adopt online learning, instructional design careers may experience upward demand.

Although instructional design is considered a modern-day career, you will be surprised to know that this role has existed for decades. It has recently received more attention.

What instructional designers Do?

Instructional designers are responsible for designing courses and curriculum. They develop and create all instructional materials such as presentations, hand-outs, student guides, and other important assets. Instructional designers are also responsible for training and evaluating the subject matter learned by students and testing their application by assigning projects and creating quizzes. They need to identify the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of the targeted audience prior to designing any learning program but especially for e-learning programs.

Digital Transformation and the instructional designer:

With the digital transformation at its peak in the economy, instructional designers are expected to change from the traditional method of curriculum design towards a format that can be consumed online in a short period of time, on any device.

It is simply not possible for a single designer to meet all these demands. Working alongside subject matter experts, course designers as well as tech professionals can alleviate work demands. The Instructional designers need to be multitaskers to survive and thrive. A deep understanding of the subject matter and the knowledge to design impactful learning solutions are necessary attributes.

You need to possess some key skills to choose a career path. Here are some important skills your need to know if you plan to be an instructional designer in the digital transformation economy:

  • Course and Curriculum Design: Every instructional designer needs to have well-developed course and curriculum design knowledge. They need to develop the course design through raw content provided by subject matter experts and then analyze and design a course, keeping in mind the target audience.
  • Research: Instructional designers often need to stay up to date with the new trends and technologies in the market and inculcate them in education. This helps them create courses that are high in demand among potential students. The research will help them understand what their audience wants and make sure those needs are met during the course.
  • Tools and Technology: Using the best tools and technology available in the market helps the designer create modular and popular courses. They often need to use tools like Adobe Suite, Inkling, Articulate 360, and Camtasia. Using the right tools at the right time is what this career demands. Apart from this, MOOC is another technology used by instructional designers. They often need to partner with experts and create small nuggets of information that can be published in a MOOC environment.
  • Flexibility: Courses designed by instructional designers don’t always run smoothly. Therefore, it is extremely important to be flexible and keep an alternative approach while designing, ready to save time and complications.
  • Management: Instructional designers’ work can hectic. Money and time management skills are needed to keep projects running smoothly. The instructional designer will need to figure out how much time and resources they can invest in a project.

These are a few skills an organization wants in an instructional designer. As the economy becomes more acclimated to digital, we can assume that instructional designers are going to have a secure career future. Roles and responsibilities might differ depending on the organization, but the aim remains the same.

Whether it is designing classroom instructions or the e-learning course, having the proficiency and understanding of your audience will help you create better, more successful solutions. Flexibility, dedication, creativity, and innovation are becoming more valued.


Digital transformation in the economy has given rise to the instructional designer courses available both online as well as offline. The new generation moving towards e-learning, to learn new things and save time, will benefit best. Digitalization is happening at such a great speed that we can hope to have a complete digitalized educational system very soon. You will have the opportunity to participate in the 4th generation digital transformation. You will need to have an in-depth understanding of the latest tools and technology, as well as other skills mentioned above, to have a successful career.

Mark Clemmons Is a Public Relation Executive at Stafficial. He is a PR strategist and writer, with extensive professional management experience in the public and private sectors.

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