Why did you pursue a career in the instructional design and technology field?
Instructional design is the intersection of what I enjoy! Since playing "school" as a child, I have always loved thinking about how to make both informal and formal learning experiences better. After taking a few classes in an Elementary Education undergrad program, I started to feel that daily classroom teaching was not my calling in life. One day, a guest presenter came in to talk about a graduate program focused on the using psychology of learning and technology to improve instruction. In that moment I had a feeling that's where I would go. I started seeking out campus jobs that were related to the field of instructional design, and those experiences confirmed that it was the right fit! I haven't looked back since.
What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities in your roles?
How have you found your jobs? What advice do you have for someone trying to find a job in the instructional design and technology field?
It has been a different experience for me each time! It started with looking daily on the BYU jobs website for positions related to instructional design when I was in my undergrad. Due to those positions and my graduate program, I was able to network with many instructional design professionals during my time at BYU.
For example, I attended a "Meet the Designer" dinner where I interacted with a professional, who later contacted me about a job opening where I went to do contract work for him. For my internship, they didn't actually have an open position! I researched the company and loved their mission, so I sent them an email explaining my interest in an internship and they worked with me to set it up. It never hurts to reach out and make connections, even if it doesn't lead to a job.
Once I graduated with my master's, I attended a job fair and gave my resume to several companies. I wasn't initially interested in one, but as I talked with them I saw it would be a great way to start working in the field. A little more than a year in that position, I indicated on LinkedIn that I was open to new opportunities. Qualtrics reached out and through a rigorous interview process I knew it would be a challenging, but exciting opportunity. I firmly believe in always seeking out experiences that will stretch my abilities and help me grow as a designer.
In what ways did your graduate program prepare you for your career?
My master's program at BYU prepared me for my career in many ways! First off, general learning theory and instructional design courses laid the foundation for how I think about improving learning experiences. Clear writing is essential in instructional design, and my coursework and the experience of writing a thesis definitely refined my writing skills. Evaluation and research courses gave me a good foundation for thinking about best practices in writing assessments and conducting user research. I would recommend the project management class to anyone, as it permeates any instructional designer's daily work. The authoring tools class was one of the most directly applicable and useful classes. Generally, the graduate program exposed me to the many types and avenues of instructional design, which helped me better understand my options and how I can shape my career. It also connected me to many amazing classmates, who now work in the field...and some of whom I work with now!
Learn more about the career paths and day-to-day responsibilities of people working in the corporate sector of the IDT field! Respondents are students and alumni of the BYU IP&T program.
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