Consider an E-Learning Career as a Viable Employment Alternative
E-learning has changed the educational landscape and opened up a world of new opportunities for educators. Those who no longer want to teach in the traditional classroom can put their skills to use in challenging and exciting positions outside the usual academic grind.
What Types of Jobs are Available?
Currently, there are a wide variety of e-learning positions. The most in-demand are instructional and curriculum designers, along with training consultants who help coordinate LMS platforms at the corporate level. Regardless of which position you choose to pursue, the traditional educational skill set must be augmented with technical knowledge that will allow for use of Web tools and applications. The science of learning must be combined with strong business skills, as well as the ability to be flexible.
Prepare for a Paradigm Shift
Most e-learning positions are not permanent. If you can shift your thought process to embrace a career as an e-learning contractor, you’re halfway home. Many e-learning positions are temporary, but require a commitment to see them through to their completion. If your area of interest lies in working with companies to develop LMS strategies, you’ll need to possess vision, creativity and the ability to get the job done in the allotted time frame. Today’s corporate culture wants to keep costs in line while getting the biggest bang for their buck. Many are looking for professionals who are “specific generalists” that are not locked in to a specific job description.
Be the Total Package
Updating and increasing your knowledge base is always worthwhile. Many e-learning and LMS professionals have advanced degrees in education, as well as various certifications. Developing a strong stable of personal contacts is a must; networking through your personal connections is where the opportunities lie. Attending conferences and seminars is crucial, as is joining professional organizations and familiarizing yourself with the latest technology. Keep in mind that educational design principles tend to remain static, but technology moves at a much faster pace. It is always prudent to keep up with it.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses; update your resume; use Web tools to facilitate your job search. Search engines are today’s classifieds, and they can lead you to a wealth of opportunities. Most importantly, keep an open mind and embrace the possibility of change. It could lead you to a career you never thought was possible.
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