Why Earn a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology Degree Now?

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We never stop learning in the workplace. For example, new products are released, new procedures are implemented, and new computer systems are put into place, all of which may require training. There will always be a need for people who can design this training. According to The Occupational Network (2018) job growth for Instructional Designers and Technologists is predicted to grow up to 14% through the year 2026. Continued growth in the field means employment opportunities for qualified individuals. A basic qualification is an academic degree, with The Occupational Network (2018) noting that graduate school may be required for most of these positions. Obtaining a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology degree from Ashford University can be the first step in gaining the necessary qualifications for pursuing work in the growing field of instructional design and technology.

The Advantage of an MS in Instructional Design and Technology Degree from Ashford

Pursing an instructional design graduate degree from Ashford comes with several advantages.  First, you can earn your degree in an accelerated time frame. Courses in the degree program are six weeks in length. The accelerated course structure means you can earn that basic qualification of an academic degree faster. Second, the master’s coursework is aligned with the Instructional Designer Competencies established by the International Board for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI). These competencies outline the necessary knowledge and skills that an instructional designer is expected to possess in the workplace. With a graduate degree in instructional design and technology from Ashford, you can be confident that you will learn what is needed to be successful in the field of instructional design and technology. Third, the coursework in the master’s degree program at Ashford is project based. You don’t just learn about instructional design, you “do” instructional design. This hands-on approach provides the opportunity to gain more authentic and relevant experience. 

A Current Professional’s View 

Dr. Douglas Brtek is a Curriculum Design Manager in the medical device field. He has over 15 years of instructional design experience in the academic and corporate learning and development fields. He’s worked both in the areas of higher education course development as well as corporate learning and development. We conducted a brief Q&A with him to find out why he pursued a degree in the field and what that’s done for his career.

Forward Thinking: Why did you pursue a graduate degree in the field of instructional design and technology?

Dr. Douglas Brtek: Learning and development jobs require an advanced degree. Candidates need to possess the working knowledge of different technical tools and the adult framework theory that is really advanced only in a graduate program. 

FT: What opportunities have presented themselves that may not have without the degree?

DB: My graduate degree has afforded me the opportunity to teach online for some academic instructions including Ashford. My current management position requires an advanced degree in learning to even be considered. Most companies do not consider learning development jobs as entry level; therefore, an advanced degree is required. 

FT: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of working the field of instructional design and technology?

DB: The most enjoyable part of working in this field is the ability to work with innovative technologies. Working within this industry will help you advance your skills and learn innovative technologies as part of your daily responsibilities.  

FT: Why would you encourage someone to pursue a master’s degree in instructional design and technology degree?

DB: I would encourage any instructional designers to pursue an advanced degree because it's a requirement in the professional world, and it will allow you an opportunity to dive deeper into the topics that are of most interest to you. I also have a doctoral degree and always tell people a master’s degree is the best academic experience any motivated learner could ask for.


Written by Dr. Christopher Sorensen, Program Chair for the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program and Assistant Professor at Ashford University.



The Occupational Network. (2018). Instructional Designers and Technologist. Retrieved from https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01

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