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Career and Education Opportunities for Instructional Systems Specialists in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for instructional systems specialists in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. There are currently 3,120 jobs for instructional systems specialists in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow by 19% to about 3,710 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for instructional systems specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 23.2% over the next eight years. 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.

A person working as an instructional systems specialist can expect to earn about $31 hourly or $65,140 annually on average in Massachusetts and about $27 per hour or $56,880 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Education, people working as instructional systems specialists in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Specialized Education nationally. Instructional systems specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: professional development director, school standards coach, and content specialist.

The Cambridge area is home to 149 schools of higher education, including fifteen within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree as an instructional systems specialist. Given that the most common education level for instructional systems specialists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Cambridge 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.
  • Farm Management Adviser. Advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agricultural-related processes, or home economics activities. Demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems; instruct and train in product development, sales, and the utilization of machinery and equipment to promote general welfare. Includes county agricultural agents, feed and farm management advisers, home economists, and extension service advisors.
  • 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.
  • Teaching Assistant. Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
  • 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

Endicott College - Beverly, MA

Endicott College, 376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915. Endicott College is a small college located in Beverly, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,988 students and an admission rate of 48%. Endicott College has a master's degree program in International and Comparative Education which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Lowell, MA

University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 1 University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854-5104. University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a large university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,931 students and an admission rate of 71%. University of Massachusetts-Lowell has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated fifty-two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated thirty-seven, one, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Rivier College - Nashua, NH

Rivier College, 420 South Main St, Nashua, NH 03060. Rivier College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,198 students and an admission rate of 72%. Rivier College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated three students in 2008.

Eastern Nazarene College - Quincy, MA

Eastern Nazarene College, 23 E Elm Ave, Quincy, MA 02170-2999. Eastern Nazarene College is a small college located in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 993 students and an admission rate of 61%. Eastern Nazarene College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction.

University of Massachusetts-Boston - Boston, MA

University of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393. University of Massachusetts-Boston is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,117 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Massachusetts-Boston has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Educational/Instructional Media Design which graduated five and thirty students respectively in 2008.

Cambridge College - Cambridge, MA

Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138. Cambridge College is a medium sized college located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,979 students. Cambridge College has 2 areas of study related to Instructional Systems Specialist. They are:

  • Curriculum and Instruction, post-master's certificate which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • Educational/Instructional Media Design, master's degree which graduated 47 students in 2008.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has a master's degree program in Educational/Instructional Media Design which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Lesley University - Cambridge, MA

Lesley University, 29 Everett St, Cambridge, MA 02138-2790. Lesley University is a medium sized university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,325 students and an admission rate of 65%. Lesley University has 2 areas of study related to Instructional Systems Specialist. They are:

  • Curriculum and Instruction, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated 354 and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Educational/Instructional Media Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated one student in 2008.

Curry College - Milton, MA

Curry College, 1071 Blue Hill Ave, Milton, MA 02186-2395. Curry College is a small college located in Milton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,098 students and an admission rate of 67%. Curry College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Atlantic Union College - South Lancaster, MA

Atlantic Union College, 338 Main St, South Lancaster, MA 01561-1000. Atlantic Union College is a small college located in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 384 students. Atlantic Union College has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has 3 areas of study related to Instructional Systems Specialist. They are:

  • Curriculum and Instruction, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated five, one, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Educational/Instructional Media Design, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated eight and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • International and Comparative Education, master's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.