A new degree program is helping metro businesses move into the future and is giving local workers a chance to move up.
Kansas City companies like Cerner say online web training development is one of the fastest-growing departments, but finding qualified employees is hard. That's why the University of Kansas will have a new program available on its metro campus.
Learning on a computer is common these days, but teaching on one is a gap the university is trying to fill with its new educational tech program at its Edwards Campus.
"These days the demands for something called instructional design is growing very fast," said Young-Jin Lee, a KU education technology associate professor.
But finding someone who designs the web-based learning programs that many companies also use is a challenge.
He heard from Kansas City businesses like Cerner and Sprint about a growing need for online training designers about seven years ago.
"The goal is, we want to educate and train students who can develop those computer-based learning contents for private companies, businesses," Lee said.
Now KU is doing that with a new instructional design program – a virtually tailor-made degree designed to feed jobs in Kansas City and even enhance skills for those already employed.
"The labor statistic indicates that there is a huge demand in instructional designers - people who are going to develop those computer- based learning contents. That's a fact, nationwide," Lee said.
The program launches in the spring.
Cerner helped design the curriculum and said it has several hundred employees that specialize in the field, and they design anything from new employee training to training for the company's clients.
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