Re: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching -- Careers

Subject: Re: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching -- Careers
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 09:32:34 -0600

Janet wrote:

> Many come from various backgrounds/disciplines and profess to
> "have a knack" for TC. Please -- if you have a knack, back it
> up with REAL training. Get a degree in the field or at least a
> certificate. Someone professing to be a TW/TC that has no real
> training in the discipline will quickly be identified
> dis-respected by those who DO have training in the field.

I applaud your efforts to further your education. I've done so myself, but
not with a degree or a certificate in mind. Rather, I've taken specific
courses that I thought would help me. But I've learned a helluva lot more
on the job than I learned in school.

I bristle any time somebody tells me there's only ONE right way to do
something, or to be something. My experience has told me otherwise.

There may come a day when the qualifications to be a "real" tech writer
are clearly defined, even standardized. But we're not there yet. And I'm
not necessarily sure we ever need to get there.

The reality is, this line of work is populated by a hodgepodge of people
with a broad span of educational and professional backgrounds. Currently,
the majority of them are NOT certified/degreed in this field. But they are
nonetheless "real." And I've learned a ton from them, and continue to do

As in ALL professions, there are good ones and bad ones, regardless of
their pedigrees. Just like there are good and bad doctors, all of whom had
to get through medical school.

A diploma and a brain are NOT interchangeable, nor does one necessarily
indicate the presence of the other.

-Keith Cronin
Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, Indiana University

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