Instructional Designers


Employment Prospects


Instructional designers are employed by elementary and secondary schools and school districts, colleges and universities, educational software and textbook companies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and the U.S. military. Some instructional designers work at or own consulting firms that provide services to these organizations.

Starting Out

Some people break into the field after first working as teachers or information technology professionals. Others pursue degrees in instructional design (ID) or related fields, complete an internship in ID, then seek out entry-level job opportunities via career fairs and social networking sites (such as LinkedIn), or by applying directly for job openings at the Web sites of potential employers. Professional associations also provide good job-search resources. For example, members of Learning Forward receive discounts to member publications and conferences and access to a variety of networking opportunities.

Advancement Prospects

Instructional designers typically advance by become managers of instructional design departments, launching their own consulting firms, or becoming teachers (or re-entering the profession if they had prior experience as educators). 

Tips for Entry

Subscribe to the Chronicle of Higher Education ( to learn about trends in higher education and to access job listings.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Attend the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference (, Association for Educational Communications and Technology Summer Research Symposium (, and other conferences to network and participate in continuing education opportunities.