RE: Education for tech writers

Subject: RE: Education for tech writers
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "'Karen Field'" <kfield -at- STELLCOM -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 08:49:45 -0500


My advice: pursue the educational goals that mean the most to you. I've
been a TW for over six years, but I haven't got certification because it
just isn't a major factor for the companies I've interviewed with. Most of
the companies I've worked for over the years were much more interested in
the breadth of my experience and my talent, than what framed paper I had on
the wall. My Bachelor's was in mass communications, which taught me a huge
amount about audience analysis and strong, effective writing. I had my own
retail business for 3 years which I don't think any degree could have really
prepared me for (I do have a professional certification in proper shoe
fitting that I achieved during that experience, just ask me about finding a
good pair of shoes to fit your feet!). I've found the ability to learn new
stuff on my own far more satisfying than another formal degree. Which in no
way slams those that pursue such a certificate or degree--it's just my

BTW, a "real" university is where you learn new stuff that makes a
difference in your life and pursuits. A "virtually real" university isn't
any different. Most of the more venerated institutions offer on-line course
instruction anyway, so don't let it hold you back. If you pursue a
technical communications discipline on-line, don't you think it shows your
ability to learn and use the latest technology? I'd go for it if the
courses seem useful. Try one and if it works out keep going. If not, look


Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen Field


In fact, it's going so well that I've been
slow to finish my TW certificate at the local university. Now I'm reluctant
to finish it because I've found my experience to be infinitely more valuable
than what I'm learning in class. At this stage in life and career (I'm 32),
how I spend my free time is monumentally important to me. In other words,
I'm not interested in "paying dues" in a class unless it is directly
applicable to my goals and/or offers info I don't yet know.

If I pursue a certificate or some time of education from an alternate type
institution (such as online learning), will that look "hokey" on my resume,
vs. such credentials from a "real" university? Keep in mind that my LT goals
involve self-employment.

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