Want to Be an LMS Administrator? You Need These Top Skills
Here are the key skills every LMS administrator needs to manage learning management systems in corporate and education industry environments.
Whether developing employees or helping students earn credentials, most organizations that support learners use a Learning Management System (LMS). LMSs are designed to organize the processes and materials of learning. Like many enterprise level software solutions, an LMS works best in the hands of an expert. That’s where an LMS administrator comes in.
This is a highly technical role, but it requires more than technical skills. You also need knowledge of the learning industry, systems thinking and an eye for user experience. We’ll tell you about the five top skills every LMS administrator needs. But first, let’s talk about what an LMS Administrator actually does.
What is an LMS Administrator
In general, the job of an LMS Administrator is to be an expert on the particular system used by that organization or institution. They make sure that the system works as intended, troubleshoot problems, and manage pretty much anything related to the LMS.
Key responsibilities may include:
• Helping an organization select an LMS
• Providing detailed reports
• Uploading and publishing elearning modules
• Build assignments and tests
• Provide technical assistance and user support
• Coordinate between technical and learning development teams
• Maintain data integrity
• Defining user roles
• Support updates and continuous improvement
• Maintaining compliance with industry guidelines
Depending on the size of the organization, you may be directly responsible for all of these tasks, or you may coordinate with a team of technical and learning experts.
5 Skills Every LMS Administrator Must Have
Any organization that uses an LMS may need an LMS administrator. This might include corporations and businesses, colleges and universities, or anyone that offers online classes. Whatever industry you’re working in, there are five skills that every LMS Administrator must have.
1. Technical skills
It almost goes without saying that an LMS administrator must have strong technical skills. You’ll work closely with technical support teams and be responsible for troubleshooting, set up, integrations, and more. Learners, content developers, and instructional designers will all depend on you to make sure the LMS functions optimally.
2. Coding Ability
You don’t have to be a developer, but basic coding abilities will take you a long way. LMSs are a shell that needs to be customized. With a base in the more popular coding languages you’ll be able to more effectively troubleshoot technical issues and customize the look and feel and user experience for your organization.
3. Learning Industry Technology Experience
You should be familiar with the technical tools commonly used in the elearning industry particularly Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate — the two most popular types of eLearning modules uploaded to LMSs. You’ll also be responsible for researching and recommending new tools that can support the unique needs of your organization. Learning technology is an exciting and quickly evolving space with lots to explore. . When you understand the industry and how it works, you’ll be best equipped to support.
4. Systems Thinking
Your role as an LMS administrator isn’t just to troubleshoot problems. Whether you’re working in corporate learning or in education, it will be your job to set up and manage the LMS in a way that meets the needs of the organization and its learners. That means you need to be able to see the big picture and consider the whole system. This will likely include learner pathways, tracking, communication, enrollment process, and more.
5. Familiarity with UX and UI
You don’t have to be an expert in user experience and user interface design, but you should have a working knowledge of both. As the person responsible for uploading training into the LMS, you’ll need to be alert to any potential UX and UI problems. You might also recommend adjustments based on your experience and learner feedback.
If you plan to work in corporate L&D, you may need to add one more area of expertise to your skill set. Industries like insurance, finance and health have specific compliance training guidelines that govern their operations. You should understand how compliance impacts your learning program. These may include guidelines around accessibility, record keeping, or training content.
What Employers Are Looking For
Most employers are looking for LMS Administrators with a degree in instructional design or learning technologies. If you don’t have that degree, you’ll need a lot of experience. Most likely you’ll have held a job as an LMS coordinator or LMS technical support before stepping into the admin role.
Project management experience may give you an advantage with some employers. They’re looking for people who can really own the entire LMS and everything connected to it. Familiarity with the specific LMS used by that organization can also make a big difference.
Successful LMS Administrators know the technology and apply systems thinking to maximize results. If you’re always looking for ways to make the system better, this might be the right role for you.
Prepare for Your Job Search
Take a look at your resume and make sure you can honestly include the five skills every LMS Administrator needs. If not, look for training or job experience that can help get you there. Then, check through this list and see how many of these skills fit your experience.
• Customer service or help desk support
• Diagnostic investigation
• SOP and technical user guide development
• Validation testing and documentation
• System configuration
• Vendor management
• Project management
• ROI projection and assessment
• Instructional design
• Industry-specific knowledge of continuing professional education (CPE) requirements and policies
Make sure you list the learning management systems, content management systems and authoring tools you’re familiar with. Any certification in Six Sigma or quality assurance can help you stand out as well.