Re: career in TW for MFA?

Subject: Re: career in TW for MFA?
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 16:17:37 -0500

> A former student of mine has suddenly realized that her MFA has been a waste
> of time (i.e., she can't find a job), and she's interested in the TW field.
> She took two writing classes while in college, Business Writing and TW, has
> few computer skills, and has no idea what aspect of TW she's interested in.
> I suggested that she go back to school, either to get additional computer
> knowledge or a Master's in TW, but she insists she's through with
> school.

That's a coincidence... I recently decided I'm tired of writing and am
interested in a career in art. I took two art classes in college, though I have
few skills, and I don't know what aspect of an art career interests me. Oh, and
don't tell me to go back to school, because I'm done with that, man.

As tired as I am of the "is a good TW a technical person who writes or a writer
who is technical" argument, I'm pretty sure a tech writer should be either one
or the other. Your former student may have excellent inherent writing abilities,
but without either education or experience she will have a hard time convincing
possible employers to take a chance on her. I personally think you'd do her no
favor by telling her otherwise. I'd suggest she look for opportunities writing
about her own area of expertise (journal articles, reviews, textbooks, etc.) or,
if she's lucky enough to live in a TW-starved area, find someone willing to do
some OJT. (Actually, I'd first suggest she get over herself and get her butt
back in school, but that's only because I have a headache and I'm a little
crabby right now).

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

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