Roadmap to Learning and Development

Dr. Robin Sargent of IDOL Courses joined us for a recent webinar to share a look into the dynamic field of Instructional Design and Online Learning (IDOL). Whether you want to transition your career into this blossoming sector or level up your current role, Robin has outlined a comprehensive roadmap

In this article and the webinar recording below, we explore the role opportunities, namely Instructional Designer, eLearning Developer, LMS Admin, and Learning Project Manager, elaborating on the unique tasks, required skills, and potential growth each role offers.

We’ll cover how to:

  • Identify the skill gaps preventing you from excelling in your chosen online learning role 
  • Create an actionable plan, set realistic goals, and stay motivated
  • Connect with professionals, gain industry insights, and open doors to opportunities 
  • Apply your skills in real-world contexts

So, if you're passionate about lifelong learning, curious about digital learning landscapes, and ready to navigate your career path in learning and development, keep reading! Your journey to a rewarding career in instructional design begins here.

The Roadmap to Learning and Development Career Success

Step 1: Visualize Your Ideal Role

Learning and development comprises many different roles and tasks, depending on how big your department and organization are.

Do some research on different roles and job descriptions. As you read, hone in on the keywords that sound like what YOU want to be doing from 9-5 PM. Keep a list of these keywords and focus on roles that contain a high percentage of your target keywords.

Step 2: Identify Skills Gaps

As you research job roles and note your target keywords, also note what skills you might not have that go along with those roles. A simple list of “Skills I Have” versus “Needed Skills” will help you identify what you need to focus on.

Step 3: Cultivate Your Skills

Now you need to take concrete action to close those skills gaps while furthering your existing skills. Follow this simple 3-step process to do so. 1. Set goals and a timeline. 2. Create an action plan. 3. Design and develop an online portfolio.

Step 4: Build Your Network

Having a mentor who knows what success looks like in your desired industry is essential. This could be an older colleague, someone in the department you’re hoping to join, and so on. Remember, you need to be able to offer the mentor something in exchange for this time and guidance. This might mean offering assistance on projects, acting as an intern, etc.

Step 5: Design Your Success

Show your personality and your skills in your portfolio and resume. Tailor your application to the job you want. In general, a well-rounded portfolio should include:

  • 1 microlearning course built using a rapid authoring tool
  • 1 traditional eLearning course to demonstrate you can use one of the big authoring tools like Lectora, Storyline, or Captivate
  • An Instruction Led Training (ILT) package (slides, facilitator guide, participant guide)
  • Instructional design document, storyboard, scripts, etc
  • Information about your design thinking strategies (the challenge, your solution, the tools you used)

Watch the Roadmap to Learning and Development recording here: