Career and Education Opportunities for Instructional Systems Specialists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for instructional systems specialists. Currently, 1,330 people work as instructional systems specialists in Iowa. This is expected to grow by 25% to 1,660 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for instructional systems specialists are expected to grow by about 23.2%. Instructional systems specialists generally develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.
The income of an instructional systems specialist is about $27 hourly or $57,380 annually on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $27 per hour or $56,880 annually on average. Instructional systems specialists earn more than people working in the category of Specialized Education generally in Iowa and more than people in the Specialized Education category nationally. Instructional systems specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: instructional designer, technology coordinator, and special services coordinator.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be an instructional systems specialist, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. The most common level of education for instructional systems specialists is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be an instructional systems specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Instructional Systems Specialist
In general, instructional systems specialists develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology in specialized fields that provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses.
Instructional systems specialists formulate and conduct teacher training programs and conferences dealing with new classroom procedures, instructional materials and equipment, and teaching aids. They also conduct or participate in workshops and conferences designed to promote the intellectual and physical welfare of students. Equally important, instructional systems specialists have to recommend, order, or authorize purchase of instructional materials and visual aids designed to meet student educational needs and district standards. They are often called upon to research and ready recommendations on curricula and materials for school systems. They are expected to observe work of teaching staff to review performance, and to recommend changes that could strengthen teaching skills. Finally, instructional systems specialists interpret and enforce provisions of state education codes, and rules and regulations of state education boards.
Every day, instructional systems specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for instructional systems specialists to design tests and procedures that measure the effectiveness of curricula, and use these tools to establish whether program objectives are being met. They are often called upon to ready or approve manuals, guidelines, and reports on state educational policies and practices for distribution to school districts. They also advise and teach students. They are sometimes expected to ready grant proposals and program policies and goals, or help in their preparation. Somewhat less frequently, instructional systems specialists are also expected to design classroom-based and distance learning training courses, using needs assessments and skill level analyses.
Instructional systems specialists sometimes are asked to address public audiences to explain program objectives and to elicit support. They also have to be able to direct efforts of staff working on cataloging and maintaining educational materials and equipment in curriculum libraries and laboratories and talk with members of educational committees and advisory groups to obtain knowledge of subject areas, and to relate curriculum materials to specific subjects, individual student needs, and occupational areas. And finally, they sometimes have to formulate and conduct teacher training programs and conferences dealing with new classroom procedures, instructional materials and equipment, and teaching aids.
Like many other jobs, instructional systems specialists must be able to take change and lead and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:
- Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
- English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
- Graduate Research Assistant. Assist department chairperson, faculty members, or other professional staff members in college or university by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as laboratory research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.
- High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
- Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
- Self-Enrichment Education Teacher. Teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational, and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
- Vocational Instructor. Teach or instruct vocational or occupational subjects at the postsecondary level (but at less than the baccalaureate) to students who have graduated or left high school. Includes correspondence school instructors; industrial, commercial and government training instructors; and adult education teachers and instructors who prepare persons to operate industrial machinery and equipment and transportation and communications equipment. Teaching may take place in public or private schools whose primary business is education or in a school associated with an organization whose primary business is other than education.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Instructional Systems Specialist Training
University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 2 areas of study related to Instructional Systems Specialist. They are:
- Curriculum and Instruction, master's degree and doctor's degree.
- Educational/Instructional Media Design, postbaccalaureate certificate.
Certified Instructional Technologist: The Certified Instructional Technologist Program is an increasingly recognized voluntary credential; based on the Instructional Technology component of the Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) certification; a voluntary certification measuring instructional knowledge and confirming extensive experience as a trainer; a proven way to achieve personal and professional satisfaction for demonstrated competency and accomplishment; .
For more information, see the National Environmental, Safety & Health Training Association website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.
The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.