Former Web Designer Finds Her Sweet Spot in Instructional Design
“Instructional design and eLearning is booming because companies are trying to retool their workforce by incorporating technology into training and development.” —Imani Nance, M.S. ’11, Instructional Design and Technology
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Education: M.S. ‘11, Instructionl Design & Technology (IDT), Georgia State
University, Atlanta, GA
B.S. ‘03, Computer Sciences, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
Job Title: Learning Strategy Manager
Employer: Home Depot
Instructional Design in Imani Nance’s Words
I didn’t know the instructional design field existed
After graduating with a bachelor’s in Computer Science, I started a website and graphic design firm. I worked on ecommerce sites, flyers, promotional materials and event websites for about five years before deciding to pursue a master’s degree. Most of the projects involved training clients, which were small business owners; I enjoyed that much more than design. When I started looking into the learning field, I was interested in careers involving training and development and stumbled upon the Instructional Design & Technology (IDT) master’s program at Georgia State University. I didn’t even realize this field existed!
I found my sweet spot in the IDT master’s program
As a wife, mother and working professional, the online classes provided the flexibility I needed. All the classes were synchronized in order to have dialogue and build supportive relationships with my professors and classmates. Once I enrolled and began taking courses, I realized the IDT program was perfectly aligned with all my skills and experiences. Instructional design encompasses programming so you can develop eLearning courses; graphic design to create beautiful paper-based and eLearning materials; and education and training to help learners overcome performance gaps. Georgia State’s IDT program was my sweet spot.
Instructional design positions are in high demand
While in the program, I worked as an office manager for a media company. Towards the end of my second year, my manager offered me contract work to develop eLearning for the Federal Aviation Administration. Shortly after I wrapped up that project, it took four weeks to find another position. My career at Home Depot began as an instructional designer, and within two years I was promoted to learning strategy manager in charge of developing curriculum for all managers. I’m lucky to be in Atlanta because there’s a great community of learning professionals in high demand.