Transitioning from Teaching to Instructional Design

Last week I gave a webinar through UCI on transitioning from teaching to instructional design. I shared my story of moving from teaching to instructional design as well as tips for finding a job. While this presentation was primarily aimed at teachers, much of the content also applies to others looking to change careers. The recording is now available on YouTube.

The links and resources mentioned during my presentation are listed below.

Instructional Design Competencies

Comparing lists of instructional design competencies to your current skills is one way to determine what you already know and where you need to focus on improving.


A portfolio is a critical tool for showing prospective employers and clients your skills.


If your resume is currently focused on teaching, you’ll need to do some updating to focus on the relevant skills for instructional design.


One way to prepare for interviews is thinking about how to answer potential questions by employers.


Listening to podcasts is one way to learn about the field and become familiar with  terminology and trends.

Book Recommendations

Whether you enroll in a graduate certificate program, masters program, or are learning on your own, reading books is a way to learn skills to fill in the gaps in your skills.

Transitioning from Teaching to Instructional Design

Check out my posts on instructional design careers for more information.

11 thoughts on “Transitioning from Teaching to Instructional Design”

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  4. Valerie Verastegui

    This was very helpful and relevant information as I am researching my next steps in my professional journey. I am in year 16 as a public school educator/ instructional coach and I learned so much from your webinar. Thank you for “paying it forward” to those of us getting ready to venture out! I will definitely be seeking out more of your resources.

    1. I’m glad this is helpful! I think right now there’s a lot more information out there for teachers getting ready to transition to ID than there was a few years ago when I recorded this. Sara Stevick’s free group, for example, is a good place to network with others and find other resources.

      Just be cautious before paying for resources beyond books. Some of the ID academies (like the IDOL Academy) are reputable, but some of the others are taking advantage of people like you who are new to the field. The vast majority of people working in the field of ID are genuinely helpful, but we have a few less-than-helpful sources, like any industry.

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  8. Hi Christy,
    I really enjoyed this post. I have a question for you. I am currently a 5th grade teacher. I previously worked as a instructional technology coach. I have an EdS in Instructional Technology, in which I took some instructional design courses. My issue is that I live in a very rural area. How do you suggest I build my experience? Do you think I’ll be able to obtain a remote position?

  9. Excellent information Christy, I enjoy following your posts and look forward to your insights regarding the profession. Best, Mike

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