Re: Higher education in TW

Subject: Re: Higher education in TW
From: "Cindy Ravenna" <cravenna -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 16:10:46 -0400

(Wow, my first posting!)

I have found my efforts toward an MS in Technical Communication (at Southern
Polytechnic State University, outside of Atlanta) extremely useful, both
personally and professionally.

My Bachelors' degree is in Chemical Engineering and I have an MS in
Industrial Engineering so I had the "Technical" part but I needed a way to
demonstrate to potential employers (and to myself) that I could handle the
"Communication" part. Once I started the MS program, I began to realize
that, while I am a good communicator, there are things I can learn about the
in-and-outs of tech writing. I now am developing a theoretical foundation
that supports the good judgment I used in the past. I am learning why
something looks goods or reads well through my Graphics, Doc Design and
Editing classes. I can defend my opinion that a Web site is "good" or "bad"
with theory I learned in my Online Documentation and Usability classes.
Best of all, while working for the degree I found the confidence and the
credentials to make the jump from the engineering world into technical
communication positions. After 6 months in the degree program I took my
first contract position as a Web content developer and now I'm an
independent contractor doing instructional design, Web work and anything
else that pays the bills. I'm loving it!

Was it the degree program or a mid-life crisis? I don't know but I will
never regret my decision to pursue the MS.


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