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Are You Looking to Get an Instructional Design Degree?

Even though WGU does not offer a degree in instructional design; with the evolution of modern learning many designers in the educational space are shifting from instructional design to learning experience design. If you’re thinking about earning an instructional design degree, there are a few good reasons to consider a learning experience design degree instead. 

For starters, employability. There’s never been a greater demand for professionals who can utilize technology to deliver learner-centered educational experiences. In fact, a recent LinkedIn job search shows more than 201,000 openings that mention learning experience design, compared to 26,000 job openings that mention instructional design.

To meet this demand, WGU has replaced its former master’s in instructional design with a new program: the Master of Science in Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology (MSLxDET). This guide will explore how the skills learned in the MSLxDET program can be applied to a range of jobs related to instructional design. 

Pathways for Instructional Design 

For this specialized career, skills gained through an advanced degree program can be beneficial. 

If you already have a bachelor's degree, then a master's degree in learning experience design and educational technology is a great next step. This degree can expand your knowledge beyond instructional design and give you additional skills in ed tech and experiential design, which can help you stand out during your job hunt. 

Master of Science in Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology

While similar to an instructional design program, the MSLxDET gives you updated expertise and the specialized learning experience design skills that today’s employers are looking for. 

WGU's Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology master's degree combines design principles with curriculum development and technology to help you tailor content to learning behaviors and preferences. You’ll learn how to create engaging and immersive virtual learning experiences for workforce development, employee training, and more. 

The MSLxDET offers two pathways: the K–12 Learning Designer track and the Adult Learning Designer track. Depending on your career interests, you have the option to choose one or both. 

Areas of study in the MSLxDET program include: 

  • Foundations of Learning Experience Design 
  • Learning Experience Design: K–12 Specialization 
  • Learning Experience Design: Adult Learner Specialization 
  • Learning Experience Design Lab
  • Learning Experience Design Capstone


is the national average salary for a learning experience designer, according to ZipRecruiter.

Career Options with an Instructional Design-Focused Degree

Traditional instructional design degrees focus on teachers, so many graduates of this program go on to work in a school setting. People with learning experience design skills and credentials can do the same. However, they have additional credentials to develop courses and training for corporate environments. 

With a learning experience design and educational technology degree, you can pursue a variety of jobs as an instructional coordinator, learning architect, distance educational administrator, curriculum developer and more. In these more advanced positions, you’ll have the potential to earn a higher salary, expand your expertise, and be more marketable to future employers. 

What is an instructional coordinator?

Instructional coordinators design curriculum, create, implement, and revise courses. Though they don’t work with students directly, they collaborate closely with educators and instructors to come up with strategies to improve the quality of education.

What is a learning experience designer? 

Learning experience designers give strategic direction to leaders and curriculum creators to help shape and improve the learner’s experience.

What is a learning architect?

Learning architects work cross-divisionally and utilize HR, education, social, and design tools to build human-centered learning experiences and training in mostly digital environments.

What is an instructional designer? 

An instructional designer helps develop or redesign courses and curricula, such as teaching manuals and training guides.

What is a distance education administrator? 

Distance education administrators work to improve virtual learning experiences by designing and overseeing programs for education that take place outside of the classroom.

What is a training and development specialist?

Training and development specialists plan and manage programs that train employees and help improve their skills and knowledge. 


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow by 10% from 2020 to 2030.

Why Choose WGU?

There are several reasons why a WGU degree is a great fit for students.

  • The coursework in our degree programs is career-focused, meaning the skills you learn are meaningful and will translate directly to your work post-graduation.
  • Flat-rate tuition means there’s no limit to what you can learn. You pay the same amount per six-month term, no matter how many classes you take. 
  • Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage, accelerating your program and graduating faster. Graduating faster also saves you money. 
  • Scholarships and financial aid help with our already-affordable tuition, making earning your degree even more accessible.

Prepared for Success on the Job

*From a 2022 Harris Poll of 300 employers of WGU graduates.

97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.*

95% of employers said that they would hire another WGU grad.*

99% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.*

Which Degree Should You Choose?

A masters degree in learning experience design and educational technology degree at WGU can prepare you for a future career in education. Choosing this degree is great for educators and can make sure you have training that will help you succeed.

Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology– M.S.

The M.S. in Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology from WGU...

The M.S. in Learning Experience Design and Educational Technology from WGU is for instructional designers tasked with creating engaging and immersive virtual learning experiences that can substitute for on-ground instruction.

No teaching license required.

  • Time: 73% of grads finish similar programs in 18 months
  • Tuition: $3,975 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 12 total courses in this program.

This program includes two tracks for students to choose from:

  • The K-12 Learning Designer pathway
  • The Adult Learning Designer pathway

Careers you will be prepared for after earning this degree include:

  • Instructional coordinator  
  • Instructional designer 
  • Curriculum developer
  • Instructional technologist
  • Learning engineer
  • Learning architect
  • Instructional design coordinator
  • Academic technologist
  • Learning experience designer  
  • Distance education administrator 
  • Director of instructional design 
  • Online course designer
  • Online course developer
  • Corporate training

Develop training and instruction expertise to help you in the classroom, in educational settings, or in corporate world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! It can help you move into other areas of education or create engaging and immersive virtual learning experiences in your own classroom.

This program is a great option for current educators or for professionals in the corporate world, nonprofits, or professional development looking to excel in training, leadership, instruction, and technology. 

No. The MSLxDET program at WGU is designed for anyone who’s interested in developing their instructional, training, and technology-focused skills.