How are technical writers perceived?

Subject: How are technical writers perceived?
From: edahlquist -at- gmx -dot- co -dot- uk
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 20:28:09 +0100 (MET)

I am currently in a technical communcation program in a university. The
perception of technical writers is a critical issue for those involved in the
program, because it seems there is almost a prejudice against "non-technical"
writers--those from a background of English or journalism, rather than
engineering or science. I am curious if anyone else has experienced this.

Specifically, I come from a relatively technical background, and recently
changed my program minor to English (rhetoric and linguistics, not literature).
In the past several days I have gotten extremely negative responses to
information requests, and judicious backtracking indicates the change in attitude
was coincident with mentioning my change of minor. In your experience, is
English (or journalism) perceived negatively by hiring managers, as opposed a
more technical area of study?


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