re: Academic focus (was tech writer bookshelf)

Subject: re: Academic focus (was tech writer bookshelf)
From: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 10:02:05 -0700

re: Graduate school tends to have an extremely academic focus on technical
writing which often doesn't mean diddly in the corporate world ...

... and if you accept this, you accept "technical writers are secretaries."
This behavior in corporations is just fear of the unknown and to me is
analogous to the Spiro T. Agnew "effete intellectual snobs" nonargument.
The "all I ever needed to know ... kindergarten" swill. Nothing against
anyone on this list, but more education is always better, and if you haven't
had it you don't know. Know anyone who regrets having learned something?
We know some that would like to think they can stop learning and coast,
"keep their heads down," as it were.

Biggest "corporate" problem I can envision with grad schools would be
insularity, i.e., failing to recognize that tech writing is advertising and
therefore failing to team with the business school. Ought to team with the
engineering school, etc., too, of course. Insecurity? I'm amazed how often
folks want the underqualified on their team. "Save that salary for me,"
perhaps. Depends on the work for sure, obviously--don't mean to imply every
tech writing job requires a grad-school-level tech writer.


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