Inside Curriculum Developer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Scoring Accurate But Not Too Fast...
You need to be able keep information confidential. Do not argue when disagreeing with a score, talk about instead." (Test Scorer; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, female
School: Studied English And Anthropology at University Of Cincinnati in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2004

"I Didn't Not Expect How Little Creativity There Would Be...
I was surprised about how much standardization and homogenization is required in higher education curricula. There is less room for creativity and deep knowledge about course topics than I would have imagined. It feels like Higher Ed is turning into another form of fast food." (Researcher; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Social Science at University At Albany in New York; completed Master degree in 2001

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Master Teacher Curriculum Coach: "The best part of the job is being in the classroom and working with preschoolers. They are so interesting and funny! The worst part of the job is trying to help teachers improve that do not want to move forward or feel uncomfortable with trying new things. It is also difficult being in a position with a lot of responsibility to build and maintain high quality programs but no real authority to make people change." (2011)

Curriculum Developer: "The best part of my job is that it's creative and fun. I get to invent games and write silly things that little kids will enjoy. I also get to read tons and tons of children's books. It's a very playful job. The hardest part of my job is that sometimes it's hard to be creative on a regular workaday schedule. Sometimes I get an idea in the middle of the night; other times I struggle to be creative when I'm supposed to be." (2010)

Educational Consultant: "The best part of my job is seeing my students "get it." At the end of each session these teachers return to their classrooms and try the new techniques they have learned. When they attend the next session of my program, it is really great to see their excitement over the skills they've been able to deploy. Much of their excitement is created by their students being successful and wanting to do more. These techniques make students enjoy learning and as a result they come into the classroom wanting to learn more "fun" things. The skills make learning "fun" and push students to stretch their abilities. The worst part of my job is the occasional teacher who is just in the class to gain professional development points or credits and who really is not interested in employing these skills in the classroom." (2009)

Career Background

Curriculum Developer

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Get A Master's Degree And Research Possible Employers...
If you want to be a curriculum developer, you should get a master's degree in your discipline. Then, seek out the type of publisher that sells the kinds of books you would like to read." (Researcher; 2014)

"Have A Bachelor Degree And A Back Up Plan...
if you want to score tests, most places require a Bachelor degree. This is not a steady job, so have a back up plan." (Test Scorer; 2014)

"Work With Children First...
Tip 1- Get a lot of experiences working with children and see how you like it before pursuing a teaching career. Tip 2- Take lots of courses and/or read everything you can on classroom management and effective discipline strategies so you have an organized, effective, structured day, and set of rules and routines students will respond to. Tip 3- Be sure to work on speaking skills to be able to speak to adults as well as students." (Master Teacher Curriculum Coach; 2011)

"Strike A Balance Between Fun And Instructive...
In order to be successful at a job like this, you have to have a balance of silliness and seriousness. You have to be able to think like a kid, but also be smart and focused enough to write and create things that aren't just fun, they're productive too. Also, you need to be able to take risks with your ideas. Sometimes a wacky idea that seems all wrong will wind up turning into something wonderful; you need to be brave enough to say those ideas out loud to your bosses or co-workers." (Curriculum Developer; 2010)

"It's About Knowing Your Subject...
It is essential to take as many courses as possible in your core field -- in my case English literature and writing -- because in education it is the underlying knowledge you will use and not the "administrivia" that you are sometimes overloaded with in schools. Additionally, it is important to find a good mentor, a person who has been in the trenches and has insight into the way the school system works. No two systems are the same and it is important to learn what the system really expects of you. The school's mission statement is rarely an accurate depiction of the reality of life inside the school." (Educational Consultant; 2009)