If you are looking for a career that lets you impact the field of education without teaching, you might consider the types of jobs available in curriculum development. Whenever a new standard is introduced into the national, state or even local school systems, curriculum must be brought into alignment with it. That calls for people who understand different learning styles as well as teaching methods, are able to visualize concepts and, most importantly, to communicate those concepts with teams that create new materials. Learning does not just occur in schools and universities; corporations teach employees, the military instructs service people and there are many online courses available to adult learners. That means that curriculum development jobs are available in almost every sector of society.
What is Curriculum Development?
According to the Glossary of Educational Reform, the term “curriculum” can be used in the broad sense of all educational materials, or in the restricted sense of individual components. It includes “lessons and academic concepts taught in a school or a specific course or program.” It also encompasses the “knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, learning standards and objectives, units and lessons instructors use, assignments and projects given to students, books, materials, videos, presentations and readings used in a course and the tests that are used to assess learning.” A developer is a person who uses his or her knowledge of styles of learning, specific learning populations, such as adults or special learners, technology and other factors to create new information delivery systems or to improve existing ones.
Generalities in Curriculum Development
Professionals in curriculum development, in general, must be able to analyze existing materials and factors impacting learning. They must have a sense of design and understand how visuals and things like videos work to help people learn. They must be able to select the appropriate delivery methods, or at least to understand why a specific delivery method works as well. In addition, curriculum specialists should know how curriculum is formulated and assessed, even if they are not directly involved in the creation of materials. That is because some curriculum developers work in marketing and sales of programs.
Types of Jobs for Curriculum Developers
Not all curriculum developers work directly with schools and universities. Some are employed by corporations to oversee professional training. Some work for educational material companies and represent their materials to educational institutions. According to Indeed, the types of careers that are available to curriculum development specialists include:
- Director of Learning Commons. This job is offered by a university. The professional oversees the materials and methods used to tutor students at a university learning center. He or she works to integrate technology into tutoring, and to bring curriculum to a level that is easily understood to help students achieve academic success outside of the classroom.
- Instructor/ Curriculum Director. This is a corporate job that involves developing or overseeing the creation of material used in professional development, and presenting or supervising the presentation of the materials. The applicant for the job must have a grasp of how adults learn.
- National Curriculum Specialist. This is a position offered by a nationally-recognized educational materials manufacturer. It involves building relationships with clients to problem solve and assess their curriculum needs. The assessment is then used to recommend existing materials or to set parameters for the development of new materials to meet the school needs. In other words, it is primarily a sales and marketing position that demands an understanding of curriculum development.
- Customer Experience Learning and Development Manager. This is a corporate position within a national sporting goods retail chain. The job entails developing training materials that will align employees with the company goals and objectives.
Related Resource: Types of Jobs in Educational Research
These jobs are representative of the scope of positions available. Universities employ curriculum developers to modernize program curriculum; school districts sometimes hire them to create unique learning materials. Governmental agencies use the professionals on teams of educators that adopt new standards for learning. Whether you want to work directly with teachers, or in a marketing and business environment, there are many types of jobs in curriculum development.