With a master’s in instructional technology in your hands, you can do pretty much anything that concerns the use of technology in creating immersive educational experiences.
The goal of instructional technology as a discipline is to envision and implement various digital assets in teaching environments, thus dramatically improving students’ learning outcomes.
A true EdTech professional should have an in-depth understanding of each software and hardware’s educational potential and can encompass their constructivist incorporation in the classroom.
In pragmatic terms, this means operating in a multidisciplinary area and handling numerous instructional technology types, with one eye constantly glancing at contemporary educational theory.
In a word, the Educational Technology Specialist is a leader who helps teachers teach, and students learn.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Master’s in Instructional Technology?
In general, a master’s in educational technology provides you with a versatile skill set that you’d be able to apply in different environments. The most apparent positions you’d be an ideal candidate for are those specified in a K-12 school system or a university setting.
However, because corporations across industries rely heavily on training their employees, they have a great need for qualified EdTech professionals who can manage the computer-assisted learning environment.
This is also true for the government sector. In a fast-shifting world, the system’s functioning is impossible to imagine without the constant professional development of the individuals who work in it. That’s why Instructional Technology Specialists have the chance not only to impact the future generations through improving their classroom experience but can also make a difference here and now by educating the working backbone of society.
Some of the positions you might be eligible for upon completing a master’s programme in educational technology are:
- Classroom Teacher
It is not rare to see teachers enrolling in this master’s programme to upgrade their classroom experience. Instead of pursuing a highly specialized career, these dedicated educators use educational technology to take their teaching skills to the next level. Additionally, they have the opportunity to give lessons at online schools as a side job.
- Online teacher, Mentor, or Trainer
Yes, a career path leading certified teachers to become online mentors/trainers is a beaten track. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. With a digital toolbox available to everyone, people with different expertise can start their own online teaching sessions and cash in their skill set.
- Technology Integration Specialist
In the K-12 school, Technology Integration Specialists are responsible for managing the use of technical tools to improve students’ achievements. He/she envisions and implements suitable software and hardware in the classroom and educates the teaching staff about its true potential.
In essence, the same job responsibilities await Technology Integration Specialists in a corporate setting. The only difference is that they have to adjust digital tools to the company’s educational needs and educate their colleagues.
- Educational Technology Consultant
Although the job descriptions of Technology Integration Specialist and Educational Technology Consultant often overlap, they are typically different practice positions.
Educational Technology Consultant focuses on a strategic approach to technical equipment needed to achieve particular and specific goals. In the public school system, this type of consultant operates at the county level by working for an ISD (Intermediate School District). These EdTech Consultants can also work as independent contractors.
- Community Manager (“Evangelist”)
Community Evangelists are leaders who focus on implementing educational technology: they communicate with users, estimate the effectiveness of the resources, and discover new ways of training their community. In practice, this role often extends to marketing, PR, and customer support activities.
- Instructional Designer
Although a university setting is the “natural” surroundings of the Instructional Designers, they can also be part of a corporate HR team. Their job is to create and develop hybrid learning environments using an array of digital tools – either within an existing platform or by building one from scratch.
Within complex educational ecosystems, Technology Integration Specialists often have an opportunity to further specialize in their field or advance in their careers by taking on leading roles. Such a scenario is specific, although not restricted, to the corporate setting. Some of the expertise with a sharp focus may include:
- Distance Learning Director
- Technology Coordinator
- Corporate Trainer
- Designer of Training Materials
- Director of Professional Development
- Learning Applications (Apps) Designer
- Virtual Reality Specialist
Surging Demand For Instructional Technology Specialists
As we mentioned earlier, a candidate who completed a master’s instructional technology programme has a great prospect of landing a job. The EdTech industry is booming, and the demand for qualified experts is going to skyrocket.
With 56% of teaching tools becoming tech-based and 60% of students reporting they feel more intellectually stimulated through digital assets – it’s safe to say that digitalization is not leaving our learning practices any time soon.
In fact, according to the Statista forecast, the e-learning market worldwide will surpass a whopping $243 billion by 2022, thus creating an open field for thriving jobs that didn’t exist in the pre-digital era.
The same statistical report notes that approximately 65% of faculty supports open educational resources (OERs) in teaching. In comparison, some 83% of US college students found that digital learning technologies helped boost their grades.
In other words, both sides of the educational process are eagerly embracing software and hardware to facilitate knowledge transfer. The digital toolbox, which includes various engaging teaching devices, dramatically changes the scope and pace of our learning processes. We are now able to choose between different educational models, incorporate suitable technology, and self-pace our growth.
Amazing times, indeed. And a land of opportunities for some.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Training and Development Specialists is 9%, much faster than average. Of course, the prospects will vary depending on the region, but, essentially, there isn’t a working system in the world that couldn’t potentially benefit from applying instructional technology.
Is a Master’s in Instructional Technology Worth it?
The simple answer is yes, it is – especially if you are passionate about using technology to solve educational problems and concerns, or you would like to take your teaching skills to a whole new level.
Even though some positions may not require more than a Bachelor’s degree, having a higher-level education will only give you a competitive edge in the saturated market. On top of that, the master’s programme will provide you with job-ready expertise that you could immediately apply and perfect through practice.
But several pragmatic questions are emerging from our answer there. Let’s break it down one by one.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?
For full-time students, obtaining a master’s degree in educational technology usually takes two years. Although this period might prolong if you’re already working, enrolling in an open distance programme can enable you to combine work and study commitments effectively.
How Much Does a Master’s in Education Cost?
Tuition costs vary greatly depending on the university you wish to attend. Public institutions of higher education tend to be a more affordable option than private universities. Also, bear in mind that the studies’ costs generally go beyond tuition fees and include buying books, living expenses, and other fees.
How Much do Instructional Technologists Make?
Enough to pay off their student loans is the most precise answer you can get.
Jokes aside, there really is no average salary that would cover a wide range of occupations in different work environments.
In general, Instructional Technologist is one of the highest-paid specialty careers for an educator.
It’s also worth noting that corporate training environments tend to have slightly higher salaries than those within the K-12 school system.
Below are the median wages of EdTech-related occupations, as reported by the leading salary-insight providers:
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Training and Development Managers – $115,640 per year
- Training and Development Specialists – $62,700 per year
(Payscale reports approximately the same figures.)
- Instructional Technologist – $72,543
- VP Instructional Designer – $113,634
- Senior Instructional Designer – $99,814
- Elearning Designer – $96,949
- Head Of Instructional Designer – $91,410
- Manager Instructional Designer – $90,774
Upgrading Our Future Through Online Educational Programmes
The development of EdTech has not only created jobs that didn’t exist – but it also paved the paths of reaching them.
Because the educational system was so profoundly affected by technology development, it had to adapt swiftly. As a result, we have prestigious academic institutions offering some of the best online master’s programmes in instructional technology.
It may be considered as a capitalistic competition entering the field of education.
Then again, it has only brought welfare to students. They now have the luxury of choosing their own learning paths. Technology has given them the power to make informed decisions about their professional goals.
In a word, technology has helped them reach their future more efficiently.