Online learning and training are here to stay, with the pandemic pushing K-12, higher education, and corporate entities to adopt virtual instruction models. As academic programs and corporate trainings invest in long term online capabilities, there is a growing need for instructional design specialists to develop effective, engaging content.

What is instructional design?

An instructional designer applies a systematic methodology to design and develop content, experiences, and other solutions to support the acquisition of new knowledge or skills. In an academic setting, an instructional designer may create online course content that is well-paced and optimally delivered for student engagement.

Instructional design in a corporate setting is also focused on the effective presentation of information – whether for internal audiences, such as a Human Resources department – or for public-facing learning opportunities about a company’s products or services. Beyond designing content and developing instructional materials, instructional designers often evaluate trainings or lessons to measure learning outcomes.

Chart your Instructional Design career path at UVM

In three 8-week online courses, the University of Vermont Instructional Design Certificate will prepare you to enter the burgeoning field of instructional design with the core skills that educational institutions and public and private enterprises are seeking. To solidify your job-readiness, the final 8-week course includes a paid apprenticeship component available through both UVM’s PACE and a network of other service providers.


  • Analysis (needs of learner)
  • Design and Development
  • Implementation and Evaluation

This certificate is taught by seasoned instructional design practitioners with diverse professional backgrounds. Additionally, the Instructional Design Certificate program is developed in partnership with Ease Learning, a learning designing company with expertise in developing performance learning design and insights.

Working professionals looking to transition from related fields – graphic design, teachers, or media technology, for example – are encouraged to enroll in this non-credit program. Due to the rapid adoption of online learning, career opportunities in K-12 education, higher education, nonprofit, government, and many Fortune 500 companies are expanding. Leading employers for instructional designers include Amazon, Deloitte, KPMG, and Pearson. As the learning and working landscape becomes increasingly remote, instructional designers are enjoying increased workplace flexibility, commonly working either hybrid schedules or entirely remotely.