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Graduate instructional design certificate programs focus on theories and technology related to instructional design. Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience applying those theories and technologies 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. These programs have the prerequisite of a bachelor's degree, and often feature the option of completing internships.
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 7% from 2014-2024. This is mainly due to continued emphasis on strengthening the quality of education and increasing the level of accountability in schools. As of 2015, the median annual salary for instructional designers was $62,270 (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.
Instructional design graduate students learn about various topics in education theory and curriculum, with a healthy career outlook for those who complete their programs and attain the necessary licensure to work in state public schools.