Is it the knowledge of theories, methods, or practices? Does having a Ph.D. Degree or several credentials and certifications set you up for success? Some may argue that you need the best soft skills in the industry, and others will tell you that being a great creative writer, project manager, or e-learning authoring tool creator is what makes the best instructional designer.
I believe that all these skills are important, but the question still lingers…what is the x-factor that makes a designer the most attractive and marketable?
Two words can answer this question: Constant upskilling.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” (Fast company, 2010).
This has never rung any truer for the evolving and innovating new tech world we live in.
The field of instructional technology and the learning sciences is quickly advancing, and there is an increased demand for reimagining approaches, shifting innovation, and adaptability to the market. Major changes keep occurring with new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), gamification, and micro-credentials emerging and evolving.
The risk of not adapting to these changes could result in a lack of job satisfaction, a lack of credibility, being less valuable to your clients, the design of poor learning experiences, lower earning capacity, and even minimal career advancement opportunities.
So, what are some things that you can do to upskill constantly? Well, there are several things you can do.
Practicing the skills you’ve learned from upskilling does not have to look a certain way. There could be many different ways you could apply what you are learning. Below are a few examples of how you can use upskilling in your role:
Being the best you can be as an instructional designer is not a check-the-box mark of how many degrees or certificates you can complete. Neither is it how many methods and theories you know. It is about constantly changing, being curious, and creative, and taking incentives.
Our industry thrives on constant innovation and change, and if we don’t keep up, we will find ourselves missing out on being the best ID version of ourselves.
Fast company. (2010). What is Dangerous is not to Evolve. [Video] YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rEW4KFqHZc.
Gallup. (n.d.). The American Upskilling Study: Empowering Workers for the Jobs of Tomorrow. Gallup.com. https://www.gallup.com/analytics/354374/the-american-upskilling-study.aspx.
This blog post is made available by the author for educational purposes only and to provide general information. All views expressed are the author’s own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever, to which they have been, are now, or will be affiliated. If you have a specific problem related to this topic and need advice, contact Construct Education directly.