Featured Profile: Alec Haggard, M.Ed., Instructional Designer For The United States Post Office

Featured Profile: Alec Haggard, M.Ed., Instructional Designer For The United States Post Office
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Summary: New! The Director of eLearning Industry jobs channel highlights the career of an outstanding working professional in the eLearning and Instructional Design industry. We hope you will find this inspiring as you carve out your own rewarding career.

Instructional Designer For The United States Post Office: Alec Haggard, M.Ed.

Working in the exciting industry of modern learning is an exciting and challenging career. The road to success is often a long and winding one. Sometimes, it happens by design, and other times it happens by chance. This feature is the very first in a series of articles which will highlight the career journeys of learning professionals who have successfully joined the ranks of the best in our industry.

Let me introduce you to Alec Haggard, M.Ed., CSM, LSS-YB, PMI-RMP who currently holds the role as an Instructional Designer for The United States Postal Service, which is one of the oldest government agencies operating on a $71.4 billion dollar budget, and employing nearly 7.5 million people. Hailing from Oklahoma, Haggard attended the University of Oklahoma where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design and Technology. He has also held roles as a Learning Consultant at the University of Oklahoma, and a Content Developer/Trainer/Assistant Supervisor for the University of Oklahoma Outreach Program.

I caught up with Alec in between projects and had the privilege of asking him some in-depth questions about his career.

eLearning Industry: What was the moment in life when you decided to start working in the learning market?

Haggard: I was working for a state agency, and they needed someone to fill in as a training specialist for a short duration; after the first few days, I was hooked; I call it the light bulb, and when you see the light bulb turn on in the learners or students you designed and developed material for, it is truly rewarding.

eLearning Industry: What process did you use to learn the skills that make you successful today?

Haggard: A number of things, really. I pursued an advanced degree and began upskilling in the latest technology. I guess you could say the insatiable passion for lifelong learning is the fuel I use to continue to pursue certifications, badges, and other educational opportunities to continue to succeed in an ever-changing work environment.

eLearning Industry: Where do you find the most information about your career interests?

Haggard: ATD, CEB, Training magazine, eLearning brothers, and scholarly journal articles. Remember, good training is a blend of art and science; you have to have a strong foundation in the science of learning, so keeping up with the latest research is absolutely imperative.

eLearning Industry: How did you overcome any obstacles to your career interests?

Haggard: It takes time to build your skillset. Pursue any and every educational experience possible, and I was never afraid to hear, "no".

eLearning Industry: What advice can you give to anyone looking to build a career in the learning market today?

Haggard: Build your skill set, create a portfolio, find your passion and, specialize in it, if necessary, and then follow it relentlessly.

The main takeaways from this brief, yet insightful interview with Haggard is to look for opportunities to learn new things all the time, work hard to build a core set of industry skills, and create an outstanding portfolio that's focused on your unique area of specialization. Set your sights high. When the career path gets tough, remember what you are doing this for in the first place—to inspire others to experience their own light bulb moments.

There are many careers in the eLearning industry, just waiting to be discovered. One of the remarkable things about this market is that it's continually evolving, which opens up the doors for new and innovative careers. While Haggard certainly has found his place, it can be confusing for many other Instructional Designers. The skills needed to excel in learning design are complex, involving a balance between technical abilities and a deep understanding of the human mind. Being able to manage multiple projects, stay ahead of compliance issues, and roll out learning that is both interesting and impactful is what makes no two days ever the same. It's a rewarding career that's not for the faint of heart!

Thanks, Alec for taking the time to share this great experience with our readers. We wish you continued success in your career!

If you’d like to learn more about Alec Haggard, check out his LinkedIn profile and send him a connection request!