Education Systems Design Program Prepared for a Dream Job at Salesforce
LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 3, 2021) – Recently appointed to Apprenticeship 30 Under 30, Megan Reynolds is a Senior Learning Experience Designer at Salesforce, the powerful CRM powerhouse.
Graduated from master’s program in education systems design (ISD) in the University of Kentucky College of Education, Reynolds is pursuing a doctorate. in Educational Sciences in the United Kingdom.
At Salesforce, Reynolds is developing onboarding training for new account managers. She shared with the UK College of Education more about her career path, her UK experience and the future of the learning experience / instructional design field.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in Instructional Design / Educational Experience Design?
Reynolds: I have always been passionate about education and fell in love with learning a long time ago. I began my professional career as an elementary school teacher in Fayette County Public Schools, where I was exposed to rigorous content and curriculum development. As I began to delve deeper into content and program development, I learned that my passion for learning translated into learning design, so my career turned to instructional design.
Why did you choose the UK program?
Reynolds: The University of Kentucky was the right school for me for several reasons. While being close and dear to my heart, it also provided a rigorous, yet personalized learning experience. After contacting the program director, I learned how student-centered the professors in the program were and how important the learning experiences were to them. I am always grateful for my studies in the program because it has provided me with a wonderful foundation for my professional career. I found the program to be so useful and such a great experience that I returned to pursue my PhD in Educational Sciences, with an emphasis on Educational Systems Design (ISD).
How has the program helped you in your career?
Reynolds: I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally without the UK ISD program. I was able to progress more quickly in my new positions and deepen my understanding of theory and learning strategy thanks to my experience in CIO.
How has COVID impacted the field of instructional design?
Reynolds: As terrible as COVID-19 has been around the world, I think the value of our industry has really shone through the clouds because of it. Companies are rethinking their training and development models, where a trainer stood in front of a classroom filled with dozens or hundreds of people to upgrade or perfect. Now they are sending fully digital online trainings, comprehensive programs and micro-learning experiences. While I think there is still a place for in-person training, when we can get back to it, the days of it being the model for whole programs are gone – I think we will see a lot more blended or mixed programs. hybrids appear in societies.
Is Instructional Design a Growing Career?
Reynolds: I think it’s a growing career. Companies are hiring more diverse candidates than ever before, and with that greater diversity comes the opportunity to upgrade skills, retrain, onboard, and simply maintain the business status quo. I also think that this career evolves as quickly internally as externally; Learning theory and teaching practices are changing so rapidly that new jobs continue to be created to capture the essence of the field.
What skills are most needed in this area, and do you think the UK program has helped you develop these skills?
Reynolds: ISD jobs are different for different companies. Some are faster than others, tools differ, etc., but a few things remain constant: flexibility, strategic thinking and confidence in the learning process. The UK program has certainly helped me to develop in all three areas and to contribute to any success that I have in my role. I was able to deepen my understanding of learning theory and cognitive processing, learned to work with flexibility in mind and was always asked to look or dig a little deeper and think strategically .
How about the UK program to someone considering a career change or entering this field?
Reynolds: Since coming from the classroom and entering the design business, I often get phone calls or LinkedIn messages asking how I did. I always sing the praises of the UK program to anyone I meet who is interested in furthering their education in the field of ISD. The program offers a great blend of thoroughness, personalization, and empathy that you can’t get anywhere else. Being a student in the 21st century is difficult as many of us work full time while on the program, have families, and have been particularly affected by COVID-19. The UK program made me feel more than just a number in a program. I felt like a human who mattered, who made a difference.
Learn more about the Instructional Systems Design Program and Apply Online.