Importance of grad school

Subject: Importance of grad school
From: Geoff hart <ghart -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'AZUROSE -at- aol -dot- com'" <AZUROSE -at- aol -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:29:08 -0400

AZUROSE <<...would appreciate some input on the importance (or unimportance) of
graduate-level instruction in the technical writing profession. Does it pay
off? Do graduate programs adequately preparing students to function as
effective technical communicators in the real world?>>

I'm of the school that no learning is ever wasted, so as you might imagine, I
think grad school is a Good Thing. What I don't think is that it's necessary,
though there's a growing "credentialism" movement in technical communication
(i.e., just as some personnel managers insist that you know how to use Frame
before they'll hire you, some also want to see a degree "in technical
communication or a related field"). The STC salary surveys routinely show that
people with advanced degrees earn more than those who don't, but it's not an
overwhelming difference, and might be a factor of something other than the
degree itself (e.g., that people motivated enough to seek a degree are equally
motiviated to seek and win better jobs, and would get those same better jobs
without the degree). Bottom line: if you can afford the time and tuition, and
enjoy school, go for it; if not, you can still make your way without the degree
based on native talent and training.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- netcom -dot- ca
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada
"Most business books are written by consultants and professors who haven't
spent much time in a cubicle. That's like writing a firsthand account of the
Donner party based on the fact that you've eaten beef jerky."--Scott Adams, The
Dilbert Principle

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