Re: certificates and the current job market

Subject: Re: certificates and the current job market
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 12:34:18 -0800

Ellen Vanrenen wrote:

I wonder if investing time and money (both in short supply) in any of these
certificates would be of use in the job market? Would be of use to me here?

That depends. Are you interested in formal qualifications, or having new skills?

If your main interest is formal qualifications, then any of the courses will be of only limited use to you. Some employers are interested in formal qualifications, especially if you don't have much experience. However, many - possibly most - tech-writers don't have any formal qualifications for the job, and the more experience you have, the less you need them. After nearly seven years in the business, I no longer bother even listing all the courses I've taken on my resume - just the skills which I gained from them.

If your main interest is new skills, then any of these courses could be useful. Since you say you're already working in the field, I would suggest a specialized course, rather the general course in tech-writing. Which course is better depends on your interests. Both graphic design and programming skills make a writer more employable, and the ideal writer would have both (although few do).

Whether any of these course will help you keep your present position is hard to say. When times get tough, writers are often first to go, and firing decisions aren't always based on reason. But, the more you know, the easier you'll find another job.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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My system rejected the lies that they sent."
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certificates and the current job market: From: Ellen Vanrenen

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