Are you interested in an educational technology career? EdTech offers numerous job opportunities for tech enthusiasts, educators, and experts. It’s a booming market poised for greater growth in the coming years. Here are some career paths to consider if you want to pursue an EdTech role.
1. Instructional Technology Specialist or Educational Technology Specialist
One of the pressing needs in education is to close the digital skills gap in education. The digitalization of learning creates a huge demand for skilled workers using EdTech tools. As an instructional or educational technology specialist, you help close this gap.
Your goal is to increase teachers’ technological skills through training and tech support, so they can effectively use tech tools in the classroom. You might also coordinate with teachers, support staff, and administrators to ensure technology is successfully integrated into learning experiences. Expect to conduct demo lessons and workshops as part of your primary duties.
Proficiency in the best technology-based training methods, learning management systems (LMS), presentation software, and collaboration tools is essential. Examples of tech tools to master include Google Classroom, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, and SMART Boards. Be ready to recommend the best software and hardware and troubleshoot them as needed.
Depending on the school or district’s needs, you can find work as a consultant or full-time specialist. You can also work in any educational setting from elementary through college or university.
Estimated total pay for Instructional Technology Specialists, according to Glassdoor: $60,000/year
2. Subject Matter Expert
Do you have in-depth knowledge of a specific field or subject? Consider becoming a subject-matter expert or SME. As an SME, you’ll be tapped to lend your expertise to schools, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. You’ll collaborate with instructional designers and curriculum developers to provide content expertise and validate learning materials.
For instance, an environmental NGO might need to revise an online course they offer to the public. Or a tech company might need to deliver training projects that require mastery of new technology. These duties require the know-how and experience of an SME.
SMEs use various tools depending on their area of specialization. You should know how to use web conferencing apps, word processing software, email, and project management tools to collaborate with others. If you’re tapped as a trainer in a company, you need to have excellent presentation skills and knowledge of adult learning theories.
Estimated total pay for Subject Matter Experts, according to Glassdoor: $78,000/year
3. Instructional Designer
Instructional designers play a crucial role in developing engaging and compelling learning experiences. You need to collaborate with subject-matter experts to design learning materials, create interactive multimedia content, and structure the content of virtual and face-to-face courses.
Instructional design is one of the in-demand freelance skills to land more gigs. Inside Higher Ed asserts that the instructional design field has been on the rise since 2004, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing it to even greater heights. However, it’s not only schools that will benefit from your expertise.
Corporations, businesses, and nonprofits are also on the lookout for skilled instructional designers. You’ll create training materials and help facilitate in-house training programs, conduct research analysis on learners, and develop measurable instructional goals and objectives.
As an instructional designer, you should be knowledgeable in instructional design and learning theories. Master e-learning content tools such as Articulate Storyline 360, Adobe Captivate, and Camtasia to create training videos, screencasts, quizzes, and multimedia content.
Estimated total pay for Instructional Designers, according to Glassdoor: $78,000
4. Curriculum Developer
Instructional design and curriculum development are related fields and are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the duties differ depending on the employer or industry, though they may also overlap.
According to a LinkedIn post by Khianna Wheeler, a curriculum development expert, the difference is that curriculum developers focus on “What will learners learn?” Meanwhile, instructional designers are more concerned about “How will learners learn?”
Curriculum developers enhance existing course content. You might be asked to update an old curriculum or create a new one from scratch, ensuring it adheres to educational standards. You’ll also collaborate with educators and instructional designers to create engaging training materials.
You should know how to select the most appropriate training approach and content to help your audience learn. Companies or schools might ask you to develop a curriculum for synchronous or asynchronous remote learning, blended classroom learning, or in-person learning using interactive modules, videos, and other resources.
To succeed in this role, master curriculum mapping software, different LMS, and multimedia tools. The e-learning apps you use will vary depending on the company or school. However, you can start with Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Suite, LMS like Moodle, and curriculum management systems like Atlas.
Estimated total pay for Curriculum Developers, according to Glassdoor: $61,000/year
5. Online Teacher
If direct interaction with students excites you, consider being a teacher. Educators incorporate digital tools to deliver content, engage students, and promote interactive learning. EdTech has transformed even traditional classroom settings. As a traditional classroom teacher, you don’t have to be limited by the chalk and blackboard.
There’s space for you to use digital technology such as AI-assisted research tools, YouTube videos, and social media to help your students learn. In many classrooms, digital tools have transformed how students learn and teachers teach, blurring the lines between traditional and digital learning and giving rise to the blended learning approach.
Remember that the best curriculum, content, and learning technologies aren’t enough to succeed in a teaching career. With a skilled teacher who truly cares about students, all efforts in educating learners will succeed. Arm yourself with passion, patience, and excellent teaching skills. If you work in the school setting, be ready to work long hours.
Schools differ in the tech tools they use. But you’d want to familiarize yourself with using LMS like Canvas or Google Classroom, interactive whiteboards, and presentation slides. Explore the best apps for teachers to use in the classroom to make your lessons more engaging.
Aside from applying for a teaching job in an educational institution, consider putting up your own tutoring business. You only need a Zoom or Google Meet account, online slides, and a laptop. Alternatively, you can also explore the best platforms to start an online tutoring career.
Estimated total pay for Teachers, according to Glassdoor: $44,000
6. Learning Program Manager
A learning program manager develops the skills of employees in an organization. You’re expected to use technology, adult learning strategies, and post-training evaluations to enhance learning outcomes and boost employee performance.
Designing and conducting innovative learning environments through workshops, training programs, and e-learning courses are just some tasks you can expect from this role. To succeed, you should be passionate about empowering others to learn.
You should also have excellent interpersonal skills as you’ll be working closely with leaders, business partners, SMEs, instructors, and other staff in the company. Ideally, you should have experience in training or e-learning, human resources, and project management.
Familiarize yourself with different training modalities such as instructor-led training (ILT), virtual instructor-led training (VILT), e-learning, and the blended learning approach. Create collaborative learning experiences using authoring tools and LMS like iSpring, TalentLMS, or Docebo.
Estimated total pay for Learning Program Managers, according to Glassdoor: $112,000
7. Education Writer
Education writers research, write, and edit content on various educational topics. You’ll craft informative articles, blog posts, textbooks, reading guides, video scripts, and other educational materials. You’ll often collaborate with educators, administrators, subject matter experts, and policymakers who can provide you with insights and guidance.
Skills required for education writing include strong research abilities, excellent writing and editing skills, and a deep understanding of educational concepts and trends. You should be adept at distilling complex information, making it more engaging and reader-friendly. You’ll also benefit from interpersonal skills as you collaborate with various stakeholders.
Proficiency in authoring tools, editing and proofreading apps, content management systems, and storyboarding platforms is essential in this role. Tech tools you use depending on your task include Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Canvas, and Storyboarder.
Total pay for Education Writers, according to Glassdoor: $53,000/year
Explore Exciting Career Paths in Educational Technology
Educational technology offers numerous career paths that cater to diverse interests and skill sets. Whether you’re an instructional technology specialist, subject-matter expert, curriculum developer, teacher, learning program manager, or education writer, you’ll contribute to better learning outcomes.
By harnessing the power of tech tools and your passion for learning, you can shape the future of education and the workplace. If you’re interested in pursuing an EdTech career, start with this list and explore other online tools that make learning more engaging.