Educational Media Design, General

Educational media designers use technology to create learning systems for schools, businesses and non-profit organizations, among other entities. Read on to learn more about career options and salaries, as well as what types of degree programs can prepare you to enter this cutting-edge field.

Is Educational Media Design for Me?

Career Overview

Educational media design refers to the development of technology-based multimedia systems for classroom or instructional purposes and assessing the use of these systems. This field is often called instructional media design or instructional design, though the latter can also include the development of non-technical programs. Degree programs in educational media design may also teach you how to conduct academic research, as well as how to show others how to incorporate technology into the learning process.

Career Options

Instructional designers work in education, business and research. You can also pursue careers in media and government. As a qualified candidate, you might find a position as a game, multimedia or software developer. You may also find a job as an instructional technology specialist, a 3-D animator or teacher.

Professional Duties

As an educational media design professional, you might create learning systems or educational games for software firms. You could also advise school districts about the use of multimedia technology in the classroom or for the purposes of staff development. You might design technology-based media systems for use in corporate training or continuing education programs for healthcare professionals. Depending on your position, you may develop interactive displays for museums, create websites or online learning programs. Utilizing multimedia to design informational presentations or fundraising appeals for non-profit groups may also be part of your job description.

Employment and Salary Information

In July 2014, PayScale.com reported that salaries for most instructional designers ranged from $40,744 to $80,793 a year. As of May 2013, software systems and software applications developers earned median annual salaries of $101,410 and $92,660, respectively, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nationwide, employment opportunities for software developers were expected to increase 22% from 2012 to 2022, as reported by the BLS. In May 2013, Web developers earned a median salary of $63,160, with a 20% growth in jobs projected through 2022.

Completion of an educational media design program may help elementary school teachers and high school faculty members enhance their standing in the educational community. Based upon information provided by the BLS, employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers was projected to grow by 12% nationwide between 2012 and 2022, with a 6% increase in jobs expected for high school teachers during the same period. At the postsecondary level, job openings for professors were expected to increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022, and the median annual salary for postsecondary teachers in various fields was $60,670 in 2013 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Educational Media Design?

Undergraduate Programs

Educational media design programs typically lead to advanced degrees; however, bachelor's degree programs are also available. Program emphasis is on the acquisition of technical skills, and learning outcomes include the ability to design 3-D animations, educational games and multimedia training programs for businesses.

Graduate Programs

Advanced degree programs in educational media design may emphasize an understanding of cognitive concepts, as well as the development of design and research skills. Completion of an education specialist (Ed.S.) program can qualify you for a position in business or as a grade K-12 technology coordinator. A doctoral degree might also prepare you for employment as a university professor or researcher. A graduate certificate in educational media design may also be a good choice if you already hold a degree in another field of study or want to enhance your knowledge of the subject. If you're particularly interested in teaching elementary and high school students, you should be aware in advance that most public schools will only consider candidates with a state-issued teaching license.

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