Check out what is out there for free first! In the section below, we list links to two free programs that result in a certificate. Also, we highly recommend LinkedIn Learning! Free for the first 30 days, $30/month after, or FREE through your local library!
While you most certainly do not have to have a certificate to become an instructional designer, a certificate/degree program definitely doesn't hurt your resume, and it may be perfect for those looking for a more formal path.
Whatever you decide, make sure to do your research! Talk to people who have been through the programs, and ask around to see how much "weight" that certificate actually holds.
Free Certificate Courses
This 5 week free program "is good for training professionals at all levels looking to gain or refresh essential knowledge and skills in modern learning experience design".
Activities are assigned at the beginning of each week, and you work asynchronously at your own pace, and advice and feedback are provided from NovoEd instructional design experts as you collaborate with peers to apply what you learned.
Time commitment is 1-3 Hours per week for 5 weeks:
Week 1-Foundations of Pedagogy
Week 2-Module Design & Analysis
Week 3-Design Your Assignment
Week 4-Course Content Creation and Curation
Course outcomes include:
Understand the difference between learning experience design and instructional design
Learn and apply the principles of adult and project-based learning
Develop a design plan for your very own learning experience module
Craft a high-impact learning module with the help of peer and expert feedback
Practice giving and receiving individualized feedback from other learners
Next session starts in June, register here!
This free self-paced course is a great place to start any time!
Here is the program overview from the site:
✔ Access to digital resources
✔ 2 interactive elearning courses
✔ Practical self-directed activities
✔ A community of like minded professionals
✔ Certificate of Achievement
Time: Self-paced learning. Approx 3hrs
Who is it for?
Everyone, whether you’re an Elucidat customer or not!
From face-to-face trainers and facilitators to digital learning designers to business subject matter experts. This program will benefit anyone wanting to get up to speed on the fundamentals of how to plan and design an engaging elearning course."
Compare Programs (Free and Paid)
This first website has LOTS to choose from! Here is how they describe this list:
"There are many roads that lead to an interest in ID, and there is no single unified educational path to qualify to work in the field. Your work history and experience level will dictate whether you want to pursue a bachelor’s or a master’s in the field. Or you may be able to acquire the skills you need through a short course or certificate program.
We scoured the web, looked at academic ratings, and read numerous reviews to put together this list of good quality courses, ranging from free two hours introductory courses to full masters degrees.
Whether you’re just considering a career in instructional design, you simply want to sharpen some ID-related skills, or you’re fully devoted to choosing ID as a career path, we’ve got you covered with our extensive list of instructional design courses. For each course we will tell you a little about what makes it unique, how long it takes to complete, and the price point."
As always, TPLD neither encourages nor discourages the purchase of any paid program, we just highly encourage you to do thorough research! Ask people who have gone through the program, read reddit and other review sources, and compare and contrast prices. Most times, you can get a comparable program/course for free! Remember, no program, certification or even accredited graduate degree program can guarantee that you secure a job or that you get a particular salary-success depends on you, and you can do it for free if you prefer!