If you’re interested in starting an e-learning career but aren’t sure how to go about it, you’ve come to the right place! Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about e-learning, online training content development, and what it takes to become successful in this field. Let’s get started!
What are my job prospects?
A great place to start if you’re thinking about starting a career in e-learning is by looking at what jobs are already out there. In learning and development, instructional designers are often responsible for designing content that will be delivered through e-learning platforms. E-learning developer positions can range from creating interactive courses that target certain objectives to building tools for creating e-learning content (such as course authoring tools). Content authors may create smaller pieces of content such as quizzes or modules, while instructional designers work with subject matter experts to develop large amounts of e-content. All three positions require varying degrees of instructional design experience.
What do I need to know about e-learning?
A lot of people are intimidated by e-learning. Even if you’re not, it’s worth taking a minute or two to get familiar with some of its common terms so that your audience can better relate to what you have to say. First things first: E-learning (sometimes called eLearning) is any sort of learning that takes place online through one or more interactive modules. Commonly, these modules are designed around design thinking; they present information in short segments followed by questions designed to help users apply what they’ve learned right away.
Are there different specialties within e-learning?
E-learning is a broad field, meaning there are many different specialties. Some learning specialists focus on games or gamification; others develop e-learning for specific industries like healthcare. To succeed in e-learning, you need to choose a specialty. This can make it easier for you to connect with potential employers, land clients that speak your language, and specialize your services enough that you stand out from competitors. For example, if you’re interested in game design for e-learning purposes but don’t have any experience designing video games, it might be helpful to explore other industry offerings (such as gamification) first before specializing too narrowly.
Which job titles should I apply for?
Before you start applying for e-learning jobs, you’ll want to make sure you choose a job title that best reflects your skill set. In some instances, you can use e-learning writer, but most businesses will expect more specific terms. The most common are learning developer or learning design consultant. If one of these better describes your skill set and what you wish to do as a profession, it’s worth making a switch from e-learning writer early on in your career. To get a better idea of what companies might be looking for, check out websites like Indeed or Monster for available positions near where you live; many will list job descriptions along with skill requirements.
Where can I find job opportunities?
There are many websites dedicated to finding jobs in e-learning. Some of them are specifically geared toward finding work, while others offer a wide range of resources that includes tips on creating a resume or other important aspects related to professional growth. Regardless of your career goals, it’s always good practice to research different options before you start your job search so you can be better prepared when you finally do apply for jobs. It is also a good idea to start networking as early as possible because most employers look for candidates with prior experience or some kind of formal training. Joining professional associations might help open doors if you ever decide it’s time for a change; again, research is key!
Is this the right time for me to make a move into e-learning?
E-learning is a booming sector. What's more, it's one that's going to get even bigger; online learning will account for $96 billion in revenue by 2020, according to research firm IDC. That said, e-learning isn't for everyone; many people still enjoy learning from more traditional channels like textbooks or classroom lectures. If you're thinking about making a move into e-learning development, there are some things you need to consider before taking the plunge.
Do I need any particular qualifications or experience for these jobs?
Experience is not always essential. A great online CV can make up for a lack of experience as it’s more about showcasing your ability to write clearly and concisely. Employers may look at your social media profiles too, so having well written posts will give you an advantage. Some jobs require specific qualifications, while others are open to any candidate who shows they have a good grasp of English. More often than not though, employers want someone with relevant skills, so be sure you include them on your CV! So what should I do if I don’t have qualifications or experience?
What else should I be thinking about if I’m looking at these types of roles?
Okay, so at least now you know that you like learning and development roles. What else should you be thinking about if you’re looking at these types of roles? Here are some thoughts: If a job description has several new technical terms (acronyms) it uses or requires experience with software/tools like Training Autopilot or LAMS, then make sure that it is clear how to obtain those tools. For example, if the role requires X number of months training with a tool but no mention of buying access to that tool, ask about training options for getting access. I have seen many potential candidates go elsewhere when they were not able to get hands on training before starting a job.
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