RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary

Subject: RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 07:46:45 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, guys...I'd like to offer an observation...think of it as thought

I've been watching this thread on technical writer education and it
occurred to me that this could lead into a trap.

Getting a degree in TW is will make you feel very
comfortable. However, from an employer's perspective...what does it
do for THEM. The problem with being trained as a technical writer is
that you may know how to write, but you still cannot prove a
definable anything to write ABOUT.

Example, and this is an extreme case...if you were looking to hire
someone to write financial software documentation for an
entenprise-wide application, say SAP or JD Edwards, who would you
interview first...someone with a Masters in Writing or someone who is
a CPA with a couple of weekend writing certificates from the local
comm college?

I'd like to make a suggestion...look around your geographical area.
Every area has a concentration of type of industry. If you are in
Detroit, it is automotive. Conn is insurance, SCal and WashState is
defense, NY is financial, NJ is telecom and pharm, middle America is
heavy machinery (Cat, Deere, etc) you get the point.

Then, get training in that field. Learn how to write about things
that are important to them. Print out every job position advert you
see from your geographic's industry concentration and highlight the
industry skills they are looking for...add them up by type, then get
that skill.

If your area is Detroit/Automotive, wouldn't an associate degree in
mechanical engineering open some doors?

I think employers have gotten past the idea that to be a writer, you
must be trained as a many adverts have the primary
requirement of a techcom degree versus asking for specific industry
skill. After all, how many highly trained and degreed telecom
techwriters are out of work while much less qualified and cheaper
wannabees who know frame relay are in their place. It is because the
writer is better at writing? Isn't that what a techcom degree does?
Teach how to write better?

This is the direction I'm looking to.


John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
--- Deep Thought
"Will work for money"
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...: From: Nuckols, Carl

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