What should I learn next? (trying to land my first job in the industry)

Question:

I have some time before applying for my first job and I see in job ads that I also need to know how to work with Camtasia, Adobe Captivate, and know more about coding of course, but I do not know which skills to work on at the moment. Should I work more on Storyline and make more projects? or should I dive into coding now?  

A little background:

I'd been teaching English for almost 10 years before I realized being an e-learning designer is the right path for me since I was always interested in using tech in my classes.

I'm Good at:

Storyline, Photoshop, WordPress, Office 

I am also familiar with :

Moodle, instructional design theories, Visual Basic, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Here is my resume and portfolio:

http://sarahraad.rf.gd/

 

Thank you :)

8 Replies
Nejc Žorga Dulmin

Whenever I see a job that requests super knowledge of a bunch of different apps, I am like "sure, yeah, good luck finding that person". It seems like you already have a lot of things covered and you could easily add Camtasia to that list, it's easy to learn.

I have personally focused on Storyline and haven't touched Captive since about 2009. You cannot master both.

Alex Wilcox

Hi Sarah, that's a great question! I agree with Nejc - employers tend to ask for a lot on paper but it's impossible to find people who know everything. Don't get discouraged if your skillset isn't a 100% match for a job!

If you're looking to grow your skills, Articulate 360 Training is a great place to learn more about how to use all the Articulate apps. It has videos, pre-recorded webinars and also live webinars you can participate in! Finally, check out the articles below to learn more about some key aspects of e-learning development and instructional design. 

Build Your E-Learning Skills with These 7 Super Helpful Instructional Design Projects

An Introduction to SAM for Instructional Designers

Micro-Learning: How to Keep Your E-Learning Courses Short and Sweet

Why and How to Tailor Content to Different Audiences

7 Tips for Writing Effective Training Evaluations

Kristin Hatcher

Your current skillset is terrific, and if you add nothing to it prior to applying for jobs, you'll probably be fine.

If you can learn Camtasia and a little more about video editing that's always good, and I also encourage learning more about audio editing. The nice thing about audio editing is that you can download Audacity for free and it doesn't hog your system resources like video editing can. https://www.audacityteam.org/

Storyline does offer some minimal audio editing which is handy to make a quick fix, but if you want to do anything more robust you'll need something like Audacity or Adobe Audition. 

The Association for Talent Development, td.org, offers some certifications if you think those would help you. I did fine for many years without any certifications, but sometimes companies like to see them. They can be expensive, though.

Learning Captivate is not a bad idea if you can manage to download a trial version. I've never liked Adobe's user interfaces on any of their programs, but they are a big company and companies tend to want to stick with one suite of tools. See where you can get with a trial version and then let people know that you have used it, are less expert than other tools, but with your tech skills you will be an expert quickly. 

Finally, I'm not sure where in the world you're located but when you do start applying for jobs consider that many companies and Federal agencies in the US often don't like to hire eLearning designers as a regular position. Try to find some contracting agencies. They are often hiring, and will hire people for full-time, regular positions with benefits. Then you may be assigned to different companies as needed. Often you can work from home. :)

Good luck!

Andy Houghton

I think the first thing you should do is think about where you see yourself in the industry - what are you most happy doing? There are lots of different skills. Perhaps look for work opportunities which will challenge you and give you the chance to work in different areas (being paid to learn new things is quite a good strategy).

Over the years we've put together a number of blogs about online learning and in particular videos (because that's what we do) You can see them here https://whatyouneedtoknow.co.uk/soap-box/

Most skills are transferable eg if you know how to use Storyline, it won't take you long to figure out Captivate - so anything knew you can learn will help you in the future and show employers that you're keen to have a wide understanding of the industry.

Good luck.