Chances are you know someone — even a highly skilled IT professional — who has been laid off. Or perhaps you yourself were. No doubt about it: It’s tough out there.
But rather than thinking of the competitive IT market as an obstacle, consider it an opportunity to branch out. You can leverage your current technical skills and supplement them with some education to prepare yourself for a career in a new yet related field: e-learning.
You might think it would be difficult to find any industry that’s growing today, but the e-learning market is doing just that. The 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning revealed that nearly 4 million college and university students were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2007. And that figure does not include higher education students outside the U.S. — another growing market.
Further, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) estimates that U.S. organizations spent a total of $134 billion on employee learning and development in 2007, and a fair amount of that money was earmarked for e-learning. Again, those numbers don’t even take into account the billions of dollars that are being spent outside the U.S.
So where are the jobs in all of this e-learning growth? To create an online course, a company must employ a whole team of professionals — typically a subject-matter expert, a technical expert and an instructional designer. The position we want to look at here is that of instructional designer. While…
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