DePaul University Career Center's Blog

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Exiting the Classroom, Entering into EdTech!

By Ellie Santonato

Last month, as we prepared to go back to school, I wrote a blog post about why are teachers leaving the classroom? Within this article I mentioned some of the locations they are going to after the classroom and a large majority of teachers are finding themselves entering into careers in educational technology or edtech. Specifically, they are getting careers as instructional designers. 

What is an  “Instructional Designer”

In its simplest form, instructional design is the creation of instructional materials. When you hear the phrase instructional materials first, your mind goes to constructing teaching materials for the classroom. This statement is true; many teachers who have left the classroom go into instructional design for K-12 classrooms. However, instructional design also includes creating materials for professional development and other training programs for the corporate sector. Instructional designers create lessons for all learners at every stage of life. Overall, Instructional Designers are concerned with the goals, learning environment, and final delivery of the lesson.

What are some of the responsibilities of an Instructional Designer? 

  • Design and development of eLearning and instructor led courses in a wide area of subjects including leadership development and innovation curriculum.
  • Analyze training needs and develop activity based training materials for technicians including student guides, instructor guides and PowerPoint presentations. 
  • Analyze performance data to determine effectiveness of instructional systems, courses, or instructional materials.
  • Transform instructor-led courses to high-quality blend learning courses utilizing innovative and effective eLearning tools and instructional strategies to ensure student success.
  • Develop individual and group lesson plans in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Adapt instructional content or delivery methods for different levels or types of learners.
  • Assess effectiveness and efficiency of instruction according to ease of instructional technology use and student learning, knowledge transfer, and satisfaction.

What kind of Transferable Skills are needed for Instructional Design?

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills (Written) 
  • Decision-Making Skills 
  • Leadership Skills (Mentorship/Advisors)

What kind of Technology Skills are needed for Instructional Design?

Instructional Designers are considered employees of the Edtech industry having familiarity with technology skills and programs will be beneficial in the job search. Below are some of the common skills and programs needed for Instructional Designers. 

  • Charting software — SmartDraw VP
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint 
  • Computer based training software — Common Curriculum; EasyCBM; Moodle; Schoology
  • Database management system software — Oracle PL/SQL 
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher; Performance Technology Associates DocuTools
  • Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat; Vasont Content Management System
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook

If you are interested in learning more about about becoming an Instructional Designer check out this YouTube video:

Other positions titles: Curriculum and Instruction Director, Curriculum Coordinator, Curriculum Director, Curriculum Specialist, Education Specialist, Instructional Designer, Instructional Systems Specialist, Instructional Technologist, Learning Development Specialist, Program Administrator

If you are thinking about leaving the classroom or not sure what to do after graduation the outlook on this pathway is high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7 percent job growth within the field by 2031.


Not sure what the future holds? Need support along the way? That’s exactly where we come in. Whether you’re a freshman or an alumnus, it’s never too early (or too late) to utilize our services.

Book an appointment with Ellie, or another member of the advising community through Handshake, or by calling the front desk at (773) 325-7431. 

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