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Graduate instructional design certificate programs focus primarily on the theories and technology related to instructional design. Some of the programs also provide students with internship components so that they may gain practical, hands-on experience applying those theories and technical advancements to the design of actual curricula.
Instructional designers, also known as instructional coordinators, work with teachers and administrators to assess and strengthen educational programs. They may also work in companies or specific industries as training specialists. For these reasons, graduate certificate programs in instructional design are often pursued by experienced educators or professionals working in businesses, non-profit organizations or government agencies. Some students complete the certificate coursework as part of a master's program in a related field.
Instructional design certificate programs train students in instructional design theory. Programs may also provide instruction on new and evolving technologies and their uses in the educational field. Other than Introduction to Instructional Design, common courses include the following:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, strong job growth is projected in the field of instructional coordination and design, with the overall number of jobs for educational designers expected to grow 13% from 2012-2022. This is mainly due to continued emphasis on strengthening the quality of education and increasing the level of accountability in schools. As of 2014, the median annual salary for instructional designers was $61,550 (www.bls.gov).
No universal certification is required to become an instructional designer. However, licensing is required in all states for those looking to work in public schools. Licensing requirements for instructional designers vary across the country. While a teaching license is required in some states for those looking to work in public schools, others require licensure in education administration.