The field of instructional design is growing. Yet the more opportunities expand, the harder it becomes to answer a seemingly simple question: What should a competent instructional designer be able to do?

A new research report from The eLearning Guild

The eLearning Guild’s new research report, Today’s Instructional Designer: Competencies and Careers, shines a light on this important role. Author Cecelia Munzenmaier examines the role of the instructional designer; she traces it back to its beginnings during World War II, when the US military had to train large numbers of draftees to operate unfamiliar equipment in stressful situations. The training had to be quick, and the results had to be consistent.

Needless to say, the profession has come a long way since then. But in its continuing evolution the parameters of what it means to be an instructional designer have moved so much that they can be difficult to define. What do companies need? Is an instructional designer someone who can keep up with all the latest technologies? Someone who can manage all phases of a learning project from needs assessment to completion? A professional who has the theoretical and practical knowledge to design effective instructional solutions?

The outlook for the instructional design field is bright—CNN ranked it 76th among jobs with “big growth, great pay, and satisfying work,” the report notes. But barriers to entry are high, expectations keep increasing, career paths are changing, and disciplines are converging. In this report, Munzenmaier explores where the profession is today, and where it’s headed tomorrow.

The report also features a preface by eLearning thought leader Allison Rossett.

To learn more, download Today’s Instructional Designer: Competencies and Careers from The eLearning Guild today.