Background of the STEP Profile

The learning objectives in each lesson are rooted to the profile of a Social Technology Enabled Professional (STEP) created by Education Development Center, Inc. and a panel of social technology experts in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. These experts defined a Social Technology Enabled Professional as someone who “builds, maintains, manages, and leverages online social networks to engage with customers, business partners, employees, and key influencers with the goal of building organizational success.” The profile identifies what a Social Technology Enabled Professional needs to know and be able to do to be successful in the workplace. It was reviewed by nearly 100 social technology experts across the country who validated its description of the work responsibilities incumbent upon a Social Technology Enabled Professional. 

Download the full STEP Profile and see that the work of a Social Technology Enabled Professional has been organized into six major areas of responsibility (called “duties”) and work activities related to these duties (called “tasks”). The six duties are listed numerically on the far left column of the matrix and include: 
  1. Conduct Research 
  2. Create a Social Networking Strategy 
  3. Establish an Online Presence 
  4. Create Content to Engage Community 
  5. Manage Online Presence 
  6. Engage in Professional Development/ Ongoing Learning 
Image: Profile of a Social Technology Enabled Professional

The tasks run horizontal to the duties in adjacent columns. Each task is referenced with a duty number and letter. For example, the task “Consults with communications or marketing colleagues” is referenced as (1A) indicating it is the first task for Duty One. The order of the tasks does not necessarily reflect their importance. 

Taken as a whole, the 59 tasks that appear in the profile matrix constitute what the expert panel believes to be the universe of tasks that might be performed by Social Technology Enabled Professionals. However, you should keep in mind that in your job, you may or may not be responsible for performing all 59 tasks included in the profile. In the case of these scenarios, you will be called upon to learn and practice a limited number of these tasks to achieve the lesson’s learning objectives. 

The profile also outlines lists of the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that in the judgment of the panel of experts are critical to the performance of these work activities. They include: 
  • A list of the skills and knowledge necessary for a Social Technology Enabled Professional to perform his/her responsibilities; 
  • A list of the behaviors, or attributes, demonstrated by a Social Technology Enabled Professional. 
In addition, the profile includes a sample list of tools and equipment used by Social Technology Enabled Professionals and a list of major trends and concerns that help define the current context in social technology.

First page of the STEP Profile