RE: career choices (was "not technical enough")

Subject: RE: career choices (was "not technical enough")
From: "krupp, marguerite" <krupp_marguerite -at- emc -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 11:10:45 -0400

Why not take courses leading to a degree, not just "a couple of courses"?
That way, you're covered, regardless. Check first, but I suspect that the
courses you'd take for the IT/CIS degree could be used in a Master's program
in tech writing, too.

That being said, what do you want to do, and how much money do you want to
make? The tech writing degree will prepare you for a career in tech writing,
which is a different craft from what you learned as an English major. I'm
sure you've discovered that from your first two years in the field.

OTOH, the IT/CIS degree will prepare you for more technical work, managing
systems and networks, for example. Valid stuff, but different work,
different challenges, and often with different hours (like 24/7
availability, for example).

IT/CIS people generally make more money than tech writers with the same
experience level. (And all generalizations are suspect, including this one.)

It all comes down to what kind of work excites you. Do you like
communicating technical information better than implementing stuff? I found
that I did, after spending 5.5 hears as a systems programmer. That was great
background for tech writing, but I got bored with it as a career. I firmly
believe that you should be able to have fun, stretch your mind, and learn
interesting stuff in your job. I found more of that in tech writing than in
programming, and now I'm something of an evangelist for tech writing. No job
will ever provide everything you need. If it does, IMHO, something's wrong
somewhere. Remember, though, that you're allowed to enjoy what you do for
work. Life is too short to do otherwise.

Regards,
Marguerite




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