Article

Top 11 Instructional Technology Specialist Certifications

This article reviews the best certifications for instructional technology specialists, providing an overview of the requirements and benefits of each.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for instructional technology specialists in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the specialist has a certain level of knowledge and experience in the field. Certifications provide proof of expertise and can help instructional technology specialists stand out from other applicants. Certification programs also help instructional technology specialists stay current on best practices, trends, and technologies related to their field. Finally, certifications may be required or preferred by some employers and can increase an individual’s chances of getting a job.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Instructional Technology Specialists and explain how they can help to further an instructional technology specialist's career.

What are Instructional Technology Specialist Certifications?

Instructional Technology Specialist Certification is a professional certification program designed for educational professionals who want to specialize in the use of technology for instruction. This certification provides the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate technology into the classroom or organization. It also provides a means for educators to demonstrate their expertise in this area.

Having an Instructional Technology Specialist Certification can help educators stay ahead of the curve when it comes to using technology in their instruction. By having this certification, they will have access to the latest knowledge and techniques that are needed to successfully implement technology into their classrooms or organizations. Additionally, having this certification helps educators demonstrate their commitment to excellence by showing that they have taken the time and effort to learn about what it takes to be successful with instructional technology. Finally, having this certification can also help educators stand out from other applicants when applying for positions at schools or organizations as employers may prefer those with such specialized skills.

Pro Tip: Consider taking an online instructional technology specialist certification course to help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the field. This can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Related: What does an Instructional Technology Specialist do?

Top 11 Instructional Technology Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Instructional Technology Specialists today.

1. Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL)

Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead educational technology initiatives. The certification is offered by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

The CETL certification requires successful completion of an online assessment that covers topics such as leadership, instructional design, educational technology, and digital citizenship. It takes approximately two hours to complete the assessment. Once the assessment is completed, applicants will receive their CETL certificate and badge.

Applicants must be current members of ISTE in order to apply for the CETL certification. The cost of the CETL certification varies depending on whether or not you are already an ISTE member. For non-members, it costs $199 USD; for members, it costs $149 USD.

2. Certified Instructional Technology Specialist (CITS)

A Certified Instructional Technology Specialist (CITS) is a professional who has demonstrated expertise in the use of technology to support teaching and learning. The CITS certification program is administered by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

The CITS certification requires applicants to have a minimum of three years of experience working with instructional technology, as well as a bachelor's degree or higher. Applicants must also demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an online assessment and portfolio review. The assessment includes topics such as digital citizenship, curriculum design, instructional design, and technology integration.

The CITS certification program takes approximately 6-12 months to complete. It involves completing the online assessment, creating a portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge and skills in instructional technology, and submitting the portfolio for review.

The cost of the CITS certification program varies depending on the type of membership you choose with ISTE. An individual membership costs $90 per year; an organizational membership costs $1,000 per year; and an enterprise membership costs $2,500 per year.

3. Certified Online Instructor (COI)

Certified Online Instructor (COI) is a certification program offered by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching online courses. The COI certification is awarded to individuals who have met the standards of excellence established by IACET, which include completing an approved training program, demonstrating mastery of the principles of adult learning, and passing a comprehensive exam.

The COI certification process typically takes 3-6 months to complete. To get certified, you must first register with IACET and then complete an approved training program. Once you have completed the training program, you must pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive your certification.

The cost of the COI certification varies depending on the provider offering it. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500-$2000 USD.

4. Certified Learning Management System Administrator (CLMSA)

A Certified Learning Management System Administrator (CLMSA) is a professional who has been certified by an accredited organization to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the administration of learning management systems. A CLMSA certification is designed to demonstrate that an individual has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to effectively manage a learning management system.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the requirements for a CLMSA certification. The exact timeline depends on the specific requirements of the certifying organization, as well as any prerequisites or additional courses that may be required.

To get certified, individuals must first meet all prerequisite requirements set by the certifying organization. This may include completing certain coursework or passing an exam. Once these have been completed, individuals must submit their application for certification and provide any additional documentation or evidence of their qualifications.

The cost of getting a CLMSA certification varies depending on the certifying organization. Generally speaking, the cost can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on what is included in the package.

5. Certified eLearning Professional (CeLP)

Certified eLearning Professional (CeLP) is an international certification program for professionals involved in the design, development, and delivery of eLearning. It is designed to recognize those who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the field of eLearning.

The CeLP certification requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as instructional design, technology integration, and assessment strategy. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least three years of experience in eLearning or related fields.

Applicants can apply for the CeLP certification online through the International Association for Online Learning (IAOL). The cost of the application fee is $250 USD. Once approved, applicants will receive their CeLP certificate within 4-6 weeks after passing the exam.

In addition to the application fee, there are other costs associated with obtaining the CeLP certification. These include fees for taking the exam, purchasing study materials, and attending workshops or seminars related to eLearning.

Overall, obtaining a Certified eLearning Professional (CeLP) certification is an excellent way for professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in this field and set themselves apart from their peers.

6. Certified Instructional Designer (CID)

Certified Instructional Designer (CID) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). It is designed to recognize instructional designers who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and skill in designing, developing, and delivering effective learning experiences.

It typically takes between 3-6 months to complete the CID certification program. The program consists of three components: an online course, a portfolio review, and a final exam. The online course covers topics such as instructional design theory, adult learning principles, project management, and evaluation techniques. The portfolio review requires applicants to submit examples of their work in the form of case studies or projects. Finally, the final exam tests applicants’ knowledge of instructional design principles and practices.

The cost of the CID certification program varies depending on whether you choose to take the online course or attend an in-person workshop. The online course costs $1,495 while attending an ATD workshop costs $2,195. In addition to these fees, there is also an application fee of $150 that must be paid before you can begin the program.

Overall, becoming a Certified Instructional Designer is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise in designing effective learning experiences for adults. It can help you stand out from other instructional designers and open up new opportunities for career advancement.

7. Certified Instructional Technology Coach (CITC)

A Certified Instructional Technology Coach (CITC) is a professional certification designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the use of technology for instructional purposes. The CITC certification is offered by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in using technology to support teaching and learning.

The process of becoming certified as a CITC typically takes six months or more, depending on the individual’s prior experience with technology. To become certified, applicants must first complete an online application form and submit it to ISTE. Once accepted, applicants must then complete a series of courses that cover topics such as instructional design, educational technologies, and digital media literacy. After completing the courses, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam before being awarded the CITC certification.

The cost of becoming certified as a CITC varies depending on the number of courses taken and other factors. Generally speaking, the total cost can range from around $500 to $2,000 or more.

8. Advanced Certificate in Education Technology Leadership (ACETL)

The Advanced Certificate in Education Technology Leadership (ACETL) is an online program designed to provide educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead their schools and districts in the use of technology. The program is offered through the University of Florida’s College of Education.

The ACETL program consists of 12 credit hours, which can be completed in as little as one year or up to four years depending on a student’s pace. Coursework focuses on topics such as educational technology integration, instructional design, data-driven decision making, leadership, and project management.

To get the ACETL certificate, students must complete all 12 credits of coursework with a grade of B or higher. Students may also need to complete a capstone project or thesis depending on their chosen track.

The cost for the ACETL program varies depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Generally speaking, tuition for one course is $1,200-$1,500 per credit hour plus any applicable fees.

9. Google for Education Certified Trainer

Google for Education Certified Trainer is a program offered by Google that provides individuals with the opportunity to become certified in using Google’s suite of education products and services. This certification is designed to help educators, trainers, and technology specialists become experts in using Google’s tools to support learning and teaching.

The program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 4-6 hours to complete, depending on your prior knowledge of Google’s products and services. The exam is a multiple-choice test that covers topics such as G Suite for Education, Chrome OS, Chromebooks, Classroom, Jamboard, and more.

To get started with the program, you must first register for the online course through the Google for Education website. Once you have completed the course, you can then register for the exam. The cost of the exam is $50 USD per attempt. You must pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to become certified as a Google for Education Certified Trainer.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official certification from Google and will be able to use it to demonstrate your expertise in using their products and services in educational settings.

10. Apple Teacher Certification

Apple Teacher Certification is a professional development program that recognizes educators who demonstrate proficiency in using Apple products in the classroom. It is designed to help teachers become more effective and efficient when using Apple technology to create engaging learning experiences for their students.

The certification process consists of two parts: completing a series of online courses, and taking an assessment to demonstrate mastery of the material. The courses cover topics such as iPad basics, creative projects with iMovie and GarageBand, coding with Swift Playgrounds, and creating interactive books with iBooks Author.

The entire process usually takes about 10 hours to complete, depending on the individual’s familiarity with the material. The cost for the certification program is free. To get started, you can visit Apple’s website and sign up for their Apple Teacher Learning Center. Once you’ve completed all of the courses and passed the assessment, you will receive your official Apple Teacher Certification badge.

11. Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification is a globally recognized certification that validates an individual’s skills in using Microsoft Office applications. The certification is designed to demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. It requires candidates to pass one or more exams which test their knowledge of the different features and functions of the software.

The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on how quickly you can study and prepare for the exams. Generally speaking, most people can complete all the necessary requirements within two months or less.

To get certified, you must first register with Certiport and purchase a voucher for each exam you wish to take. You will then be able to schedule your exam at an authorized testing center near you.

The cost of MOS certification varies depending on the number of exams taken and the country in which they are taken. In general, each exam typically costs between $80-$100 USD per exam plus any applicable taxes or fees.

Do You Really Need a Instructional Technology Specialist Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the individual’s current expertise in instructional technology and the type of job they are looking for. If someone is already an experienced educator with a strong background in instructional technology, then a certificate may not be necessary. However, if an individual is interested in pursuing a career in instructional technology, or wishes to advance their current knowledge and skills, then a certificate can definitely be beneficial.

A certificate program can provide valuable knowledge and skills related to instructional technology. It can help individuals stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in educational technology. It can also provide them with an understanding of how to effectively use different technologies for instruction, assessment and evaluation. Finally, it can give them the ability to design effective instructional materials that meet the needs of learners and adhere to industry standards.

In addition to providing knowledge and skills related to instructional technology, a certificate program may also offer networking opportunities with other professionals in the field. This could be very beneficial for those who wish to pursue careers in this area, as it could open up additional job opportunities or provide access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable.

Overall, whether or not someone needs an Instructional Technology Specialist Certificate depends on their individual circumstances and goals. For those who are already experienced educators but want more specialized knowledge about instructional technologies, then a certificate could be beneficial. On the other hand, if someone is looking for entry into the field of instructional technology or wants to advance their career further, then obtaining a certificate might be essential for success.

Related: Instructional Technology Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Instructional Technology Specialist Certifications

Q1: What is an Instructional Technology Specialist Certification?

A1: An Instructional Technology Specialist Certification (ITS) is a professional certification that allows individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of instructional technology. The certification requires successful completion of a rigorous course of study and examination, as well as a commitment to continuing education.

Q2: What are the benefits of becoming an ITS certified professional?

A2: Becoming an ITS certified professional provides several advantages, including demonstrating a level of expertise in instructional technology and providing access to additional resources and opportunities for growth in the field. Additionally, holding an ITS certification may make you more attractive to employers, as it demonstrates your commitment to professional development.

Q3: How do I become certified as an Instructional Technology Specialist?

A3: In order to become certified as an Instructional Technology Specialist, you must complete a course of study that includes topics such as educational technology philosophies and theories, design principles, learning management systems, media integration strategies, assessment strategies and more. You will also need to pass the ITS certification exam administered by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Q4: How long does it take to become certified as an Instructional Technology Specialist?

A4: The amount of time it takes to become certified can vary depending on individual circumstances such as prior knowledge or experience in the field. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months up to two years or more depending on how much effort you put into studying for the exam.

Q5: Is there any continuing education required after earning my ITS certification?

A5: Yes! To maintain your ITS certification credentials, you must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every three years. Continuing education activities include attending workshops or conferences related to instructional technology, taking online courses related to educational technology topics or participating in virtual events such as webinars or podcasts.