[INFOGRAPHIC] The Value of a Masters in Instructional Design

A few months ago I created an online poll called “What is the Value of a Masters in Instructional Design?” and I posted it to my blog. My goal was to gather at least 100 votes, and I was really glad that I accomplished that target pretty easily. I got a few interesting comments along the way.  I have compiled the results of the poll into the following simple infographic, which I created in Adobe Illustrator CS5. Enjoy!

Please feel free to leave comments and share your feedback!


16 thoughts on “[INFOGRAPHIC] The Value of a Masters in Instructional Design

  1. Lee Graham says:

    This is a well-timed post! I’m looking into Master’s Programs: one at NC State’s Training and Development and another at Full Sail’s Education Media Design and Technology.

    Are there any specific Master’s in ISD that people recommend?

    • Nicole Legault says:

      Glad you found this to be timely! I don’t believe there were any comments that made note of any school / program in particular. (To be honest, there were only about 6 comments in total, although they were quite valuable) However, I have come across such reviews/discussions of ID/ISD programs in forums when I was looking online….so by doing a Google search you can probably come up with some reputable ISD masters programs, or at least reviews ot the NC and Full Sail programs you were looking into. 🙂

    • Jenny says:

      I am attending Walden University for my Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology. You may want to research that university as well.

  2. Lisa Robinson says:

    Great topic! In about a month, I’m about to begin a Masters program in Learning Design & Technology. My intention for doing this is to solidify my foundation and ground my portfolio. But, since I’ve been working in and around the learning field for a long time, I didn’t think the degree would be the only way to establish credibility.

    Since my company is providing tuition assistance for this degree program, I probably won’t share the infographic with my boss :o)

  3. Kat Thoreson says:

    I’m attending MS in Educational Media Design & Technology at FullSail. I have gained immeasurable knowledge to the tune of $30,000. Remember that you get what you put into it – I wouldn’t trade it and it’s a rapidly growing field that permeates every aspect of education. It is the future – not just a pet rock.

  4. Beth says:

    I’m currently pursuing my MS in Instructional Technology at UNCW. This is a fabulous program and is unique in that the entire program can be done on campus, on line, or a combination of both. All online courses are synchronous and you’ll log in via Webex using a webcam and participate in a live class with students on campus and online. This is a challenging, but highly respected program. Our graduates are sought after by some of the best companies in the biz…

  5. Nicole Legault says:

    Thanks for all your comments. Kat and Beth I think I just might have to include some of your pro-masters comments in the infographic to make it a bit more balanced!

  6. Jenny says:

    You may want to also look into Walden University. I am working on my masters in Instructional Design and Technology.

  7. Steve says:

    (Affinity + Passion) * Education = Value

    (10 + 10) * 10
    (0 + 0) * 10

    In this equation, it doesn’t matter how good the education is if you’re not cut out for the work or passionate about it. Education is extremely valuable for folks that are right for the work, passionate, and willing to put in the time it takes to reach mastery. Practically worthless and incredibly damaging to the credibility of the rest field for those that aren’t.

    • Nicole Legault says:

      What a valuable comment. I love the equation. This is what I have always thought but have been unable to put into words as eloquently as you have! Thanks Steve!!

  8. Rick Henderson says:

    It is an interesting topic. I’ve read people’s posts on LinkedIn say that you’re only worth your salt if you get a Masters. Instructional Design can’t be taught in a 3 day workshop 🙂 That being said, I’ve been teaching and designing instruction for 12 years at a university now and I think a 3 day course would suit me perfect, and maybe even be paid for by my job. Just wishful thinking.
    Oh and I love infographics. Was about to do a search on some tips on making them.

    • Nicole Legault says:

      Thanks for the comment Rick! I’m thinking of updating the infographic soon to add more of the “pro ID masters” comments I got on the blog post.

      I definitely agree that you can’t teach Instructional Design in three days… I think everyone would probably agree that it takes years of practice and experience to become a master ID – even if you’re a natural at it. However, I do think that a 3 day workshop is enough to give someone a good foundation and a good starting point, especially for someone who is a) just testing the waters or b) already has a lot of knowledge but just wants to validate what they know or pick up some new things.


  9. johnfromdon says:

    I have never worked with any ID who had a Masters in the subject, and we have produced some of the most interactive and well received e-learning most people have ever used or seen.

    We would always say – “You can go on as many courses as you like, but they don’t teach talent!”

  10. Ann J. says:

    I am in the field and many of my co-workers have Masters in ID from both in-state and online programs. Sadly, aside from l looking slightly more impressive on paper, the quality of the product is completely and consistently unaffected. We have a few PhDs as well and frankly, all that educational theory seems fuel for arguing their point rather than actually producing a product. In the real world, most projects are production-based. Getting the work done to style-guide specifics and on-time are MUCH more important factors than which theory/methodology you can name as your basis for design. Common theorists like Gagne, Bloom, and Kirkpatrick are easily referenced with a 2-minute google search – being able to produce a meaningful learning module that gets results and actually helps people bridge a knowledge gap takes practice and commitment. Experience and results are what matters most.

    • Nicole L. says:

      I agree with you, Ann! It’s nice to have, but what really matters is your skills and abilities!

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