Is a new career on your list? Selfishly, we hope not – we need all the talented eLearning designers we can get. But, if you’ve been considering a new career, here are some ideas for positions that are a natural fit for professionals with a background in eLearning.
Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator
As an eLearning designer, you have an in-depth understanding of the who, what, when, why and how of an LMS. Your knowledge of how a course is built and what’s required to deliver it via an LMS make you uniquely qualified to add value as an administrator. In addition, if – okay, when—functionality issues arise, you have the necessary skills and ability to fix them and get learning back in action without too much down time.
The transition to a training manager role is a natural next step for an eLearning designer. You can put the insights and information you have about the technical elements of eLearning to use in the management of a learning program. And, you have direct experience with the tools that can improve the learning experience.
If you’re part of a larger organization that has an LMS and a Help Desk, there might be an opportunity for you to work in end-user support. You not only have the ability to troubleshoot technical issues, but given your experiences with learning content, it’s highly likely you’d make a great candidate to explain and help end users with system issues they encounter while on the job.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
You might be wondering how an eLearning designer’s skills translate to working as a marketing and communications specialist. The answer: presentation of information. At its core, eLearning is about using technology to convey information and engage people on the other side of the screen to the point that they change (or learn) new behaviors and skills. That’s also the core of marketing—creating, communicating and delivering value for customers.
Sales professionals who sell eLearning courses, programs, and platforms need people on their support team who understand what is and isn’t possible from a systems perspective. As a designer you have a better understanding of technology’s limits as well as its potential. The creativity and innovation you bring to your eLearning design can be leveraged in sales conversations.
If you’re seriously considering a career change, set up time to talk with someone who works in one of these positions. Talk to them about what they do, and look for ways that your skills would translate to a different environment. Do some job-shadowing and get a realistic idea about what a career change might mean. You may find that the new opportunities excite you, or you may realize that you’re exactly where you need—and want—to be. (Secretly, we’re still hoping for the latter.)
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.