Becoming an Online Learning Specialist

Your Guide to Becoming an Online Learning Specialist in 2024

Online or e-learning specialists are involved with the development of online courses and other computer-based learning programs. E-learning is a great career option, as the demand for virtual learning resources increases in demand. This demand has steadily increased since the recent pandemic mandated the closure of brick-and-mortar schools.

Below, we will discuss what it’s like to be an e-learning specialist and the steps you can take to embark on an online learning career this year.

What E-Learning Specialists Do

E-learning specialists put their experience to work in creating and maintaining computer-based learning resources. This may include producing or choosing video, written, and visual content to include in courses. This requires expertise in the subject being taught.

Online learning specialists often code the websites or software that facilitate the use of the course. Some specialists are involved in the setup of programs in the classroom and in training educators on how to use the materials.

How to Become an Online Learning Specialist

You’ll need two things to become an online learning specialist this year: the right education and the right experience. Interestingly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for what you will need to obtain a position. It will depend on your industry and specific employer.

If your learning materials will be used in school, you will likely need to become a licensed education specialist (ES). You will need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, complete additional required coursework, and pass a licensure assessment exam.

Some educational organizations may require you to maintain a teaching license. In most states, this includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, completing an educator preparation program approved by the state’s board of education, passing state-required tests, and submitting to a background check. Licenses must be renewed annually.

In corporate settings, a background in the field with relevant education and experience may be all the qualifications you need.

Because online learning specialists need a level of expertise in the subject being taught, you can draw on almost any background. If you previously worked in education, search for openings at schools and universities, or with companies that produce schoolbooks and curricula. If you’re transitioning from a different industry, look for online learning positions with corporate training departments within that industry.

When preparing your application, consult a resume keywords list by industry to determine the most effective terms to use. Lean into your experience—did you ever train other team members? Did you use training materials or create them for your team? These are valuable transferable skills. Include them, along with the benefits or achievements they fostered, in your work experience descriptions.

You can beef up your skill set by getting certified in relevant technologies. For example, Adobe Connect and Creative Cloud certifications demonstrate skill in using these software tools. Knowledge of coding and programming languages is also a boon.

Other E-Learning Specialist Career Options

Software companies are also in need of e-learning specialists, especially if they specialize in creating educational games for children. A strong background in computer programming and story-boarding is required for these roles.

Producers of learning software may also need e-learning specialists willing to play the role of public anthropologist, observing test runs of programs to determine their effectiveness, whether they meet stated goals, and how to improve them.

Online learning specialists are also needed by online companies that help students learn English by connecting them with native English speakers. E-learning specialists in this role help create, manage, and improve the online portals used for videoconferencing and instruction. They also help create curricula and learning materials used when teaching children.

Finally, if you prefer to be in control of your schedule and preferred projects, you can also find freelance work as an e-learning consultant. In this role, you may receive gig work from corporations that need an online learning specialist for a single project or a short period.

You may also be hired by local educational organizations—schools, after-school programs, community centers, libraries, and the like—to help integrate online learning tools into their existing programs. You may be able to work hands-on with teachers and their students, showing them how to get the most out of the materials.


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward online learning. Teachers and organizations were not always prepared for the challenges of e-learning. For this reason, online learning specialists are vital for the future of education. They will help craft the tools used in online learning, tackling pain points and making them more effective. They also empower students and educators to become comfortable with and get the most out of computer-based learning programs.

Whether you’re a teacher or simply an expert in a field that others need to learn about, you can get started on an e-learning specialist career today. Such specialists are critical for shaping the brilliant minds of tomorrow.

Similar Posts