What are some basic job skills common to the variety of careers in Educational Technology?

Educational Technologists should be armed with the following skills and character qualities, no matter what their career choices:
  • diplomacy: you WILL have to tell someone something they don't want to hear, at least at first; when analyzing a situation to determine its solution, you may find that the initially requested solution, such as training, is not the appropriate response to the discrepancy
  • analysis: you will be picking apart a situation to determine the root cause(s) of a problem; you will need to be able to see it from different angles and open your mind to ideas that might not at first be obvious
  • patience: seeing the process through from beginning to completion can take a lot of time and repetition
  • clear, concise, correct written expression: not only will you solicit data, report your findings, and suggest solutions; you will also need to communicate with many people on many levels, and you will do this often; you must be able to make yourself clearly understood
  • comfort with a variety of tools: these may be technological tools or just analysis instruments such as simple surveys, devices for recording information (computers, tape recorders, notepads), and so forth; you may also need to present your findings or conduct training for a large group, so you will need to know how to prepare slides, share your data, and make resources available
  • confidence: you will present to small and large groups, you will assert your opinion when you may the only person around who thinks that way, and you will dig into subjects that others might not dare touch; you need to be confident in your purpose and the value of its potential outcome(s)
  • ingenuity: whether it's coming up with solutions or just coming up with ideas no one has considered yet, a creative streak is priceless in this field
  • flexibility: you will need to be able to easily respond to the rapid pace of changes in the field
  • open-mindedness: you will need to consider all points of view and not get too attached to a single approach

© 2008 San Diego State University, Jodi Kohler, Deborah Lawson, Diane Main, and Kimberly McCain-Correll