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E-learning for beginners

Digital recruitment covers many specialist strands. E-learning recruitment is one of them – and it’s one we’ve focused on since Instinct’s inception.

E-learning is a hugely dynamic and exciting sector to work in – but it’s often a bit of a mystery to those on the outside.

So today we’re giving you an e-learning primer; an overview of the kind of jobs that are available and the types of organisations you could work for – and how you can build a successful career in this creative and growing industry.


‘Learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the internet.’ So Google tells us.

It’s easy to think of this in terms of the education sector, and certainly that’s where e-learning originally took off. If you’ve been through further or higher education in the last decade or so, you’ve probably encountered an online learning system like Blackboard or Moodle. That’s e-learning.

But, so too is that online tutorial you tried out when you bought a new computer. So are the training courses offered by your workplace’s software provider.

E-learning courses are delivered by organisations of all shapes and sizes across the private and public sectors. They help people achieve qualifications and prepare them for jobs. And because many e-learning courses can be completed at learners’ own pace, they allow people to learn more flexibly than ever before.


Lots! In terms of actually creating e-learning courses or products, there are numerous jobs available in design and development, with varying responsibilities. You might be in charge of writing the content for a particular course, or designing its look and feel, or developing the technical side of how it functions online – or a combination of any of these. Typical job titles might be Instructional Designer or Elearning Developer.

E-learning niches like gamification and mobile learning often require specialist designers and developers, so you might choose to focus your attention on one of these areas.

Working in-house, you could take on an administration or management role, looking after the day-to-day operations of the Learning Management System (LMS) already in place, and updating and enhancing it as required.

For e-learning agencies that create products and courses to sell on, there are the business development and sales manager roles that you would expect.

As you advance your -elearning career, a great range of manager and director roles are available, which might ultimately put you in charge of the online training for a workforce of thousands.


Instinct’s e-learning client list is very varied! We’ve found e-learning professionals for universities and colleges, international blue-chip companies and small start-ups.

One way of categorising e-learning employers is to whether the position is in-house (creating e-learning products for the organisation itself) or agency-side (creating elearning products to sell to other organisations). 


It’s a common misconception that all e-learning professionals need to have a technical IT background. Certainly for roles involving back-end development of online products, or ongoing administration of a particular platform, this is the case.

But a hefty proportion of the candidates we place actually have a background in teaching, training or coaching, rather than IT development. Writing a successful e-learning course or programme is often more about having a strong understanding of learning theory, a creative outlook and the ability to build a course around a clear structure, rather than specific technical abilities. Of course, you’ll need to be passionate about digital technologies and the huge scope of online learning!

Interested? Our e-learning recruitment team is always happy to chat about how you might be able to build a career in this exciting industry. Email or give us a call on 0161 714 0600.