As their job title implies, instructional technology specialists need to be experts in the most modern technology and software applications. Besides an undergraduate degree and continuing education, these professionals also need extensive experience in computer software and may also be required to hold a relevant master's degree.
Instructional technology specialists develop computer training materials and may assist in teaching how to use computer applications and related technologies. They may also troubleshoot technical problems and train junior staff members. An entry-level position in this field requires a bachelor's degree in instructional design, telecommunications, computer science or a related field. In addition, since this career focuses on computer-based technologies, an employee in this field will require continuing education to stay current in emerging technologies and software. A person interested in this career field should have experience in a wide variety of computer programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Blackboard and SQL. Someone who enjoys working with computers and has excellent communication and presentation skills may find this to be a rewarding career choice.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer-related field|
|Other Requirements||Continuing education to stay current on emerging technologies and software|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7% (instructional coordinators)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$62,270 (instructional coordinators)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Instructional Technology Specialist Job Description
Instructional technology specialists typically work with a team of technical professionals in developing computer training materials. They may assist in teaching computer applications such as word processing, design and Internet software, as well as teach how to use other technologies like blogs and podcasts. In addition to teaching and building instructional handouts, ITSs may troubleshoot technical problems and train junior staff. Other duties may include communicating with vendors, monitoring computer labs and being a liaison between school officials and local governmental offices.
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Instructional Technology Specialist Requirements
This field focuses on computer-based technologies; therefore it requires continuing education to stay current in emerging technology and software. To enter the field, aspiring instructional technology specialists typically need formal education.
According to a list of open jobs from CareerBuilder.com, instructional technology specialist positions may require a bachelor's degree with work experience or a master's degree. Relevant bachelor's degree programs are available in instructional design, telecommunications and computer science. Degree paths like this will begin the education process of using computers and other technological devices in the area of education.
A master's degree in education or instruction technology may satisfy some employers' education requirements. This can be achieved at many schools either on campus or online. Obtaining a master's degree can enable aspiring instructional technology specialists the ability to teach students or professionals.
A bachelor's degree typically grants entry-level access to working in instructional technology. With a master's degree, a prospect can seek employment as a director of information technology, media specialist, instructional designer, education technologist, technology specialist or instructional coordinator. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for instructional coordinators was $62,270 as of May 2015. Job openings for instructional coordinators were expected to rise by 7% from 2014-2024, due to the demand for quality technical training in the school systems.
While some entry-level ITS positions don't allow for independent teaching opportunities, these professionals should have advanced and extensive experience in a variety of computer programs. Common programs that ITSs should know include Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Blackboard and SQL. Additionally, these professionals should be familiar with the operation of LCD projectors, Windows and Macintosh operating systems and network servers. Instructional technology specialists must also have excellent communication and presentation skills, basic motor abilities, manual dexterity and the ability to work well with others.
Instructional technology specialists can prepare for their careers by pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer technologies and becoming experienced and comfortable with the most widely used computer programs. This career also requires training, communication, and leadership skills.