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Career and Education Opportunities for Instructional Systems Specialists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Instructional systems specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently, 4,650 people work as instructional systems specialists in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 9% to 5,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for instructional systems specialists are expected to grow by about 23.2%. 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 earn approximately $25 hourly or $52,100 per year on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $27 hourly or $56,880 per year. Earnings for instructional systems specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Specialized Education in Pennsylvania and better than general Specialized Education category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: curriculum director, education consultant, and education supervisor.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be an instructional systems specialist, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • 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

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated fifty and six students respectively in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has 2 areas of study related to Instructional Systems Specialist. They are:

  • Curriculum and Instruction, postbaccalaureate certificate and doctor's degree which graduated zero and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Educational/Instructional Media Design, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, twenty-two, and three students respectively in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a master's degree program in Educational/Instructional Media Design which graduated four students in 2008.

Point Park University - Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University, 201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984. Point Park University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,846 students and an admission rate of 79%. Point Park University has a master's degree program in Curriculum and Instruction which graduated one student in 2008.

Carlow University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3165. Carlow University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,234 students and an admission rate of 60%. Carlow University has a master's degree program in Educational/Instructional Media Design which graduated two students in 2008.

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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.