Online Instructional Technology Master’s Degree

Overview

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The digital revolution has influenced almost every aspect of modern life, from how we communicate to how we obtain information. Smartphones are now used by more than half of Americans, for example. And more than 80 percent of Americans use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

Yet the integration of technology into education is still relatively uncommon. Only 8 percent of teachers fully integrate technology into the classroom, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 high school teachers, IT staff and students by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, a nonprofit that works to improve education for students throughout New England. The same report found 43 percent of students feel unprepared to use technology as they transition to higher education or the workforce.

An online master’s degree in instructional technology can prepare students for a career as an instructional technology specialist – someone who teaches educators how to use technology in the classroom or who helps those in other industries learn how to use technology to improve their work outcomes.

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Course Work

Example courses
Strategies for online teaching and learning
Integrating and implementing technology
Instructional design
Multimedia and Web design
Research and evaluation of technology
Professional learning and technology innovation

An online master’s degree in instructional technology emphasizes research, theories and instruction as they relate to technology in learning. Students can learn technical skills used in instructional technology, such as Web design and digital video.

Core course work includes instructional techniques, design, applications, assessment and management. Some online degree programs may require students to complete an internship or create an electronic portfolio.

Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Media specialist $42,000
Instructional technology specialist $48,000
Corporate trainer $53,000
Curriculum developer $54,500
Instructional technologist $55,000
Instructional designer $61,000

*per PayScale.com

Many graduates of an online instructional technology master’s program tend to pursue careers in the education field as an instructional technology specialist, working in primary and secondary schools to teach students how to use technology and assist teachers with integrating technology into classrooms. Others may find employment in postsecondary institutions or as a media specialist, curriculum developer or corporate trainer outside of the education field.

Professional organizations such as The International Society for Technology in Education and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology offer professional development and networking opportunities.

Instructional technology specialists make a median salary of $48,000, while instructional designers can make more than $61,000 annually, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

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