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

Subject: RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary
From: Kathryn Marshall <Kathryn -dot- E -dot- Marshall -at- jpl -dot- nasa -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 11:26:38 -0700

The only thing about getting further education in an *industry* is that you potentially get pigeon-holed as only being able to write for a particular industry. I guess that has its advantages and disadvantages. But I like variety. One of the things I love about tech writing is that I get to write about a bunch of different things, from rocket science to fashion (ooh, bad flashback of a failed dot com I used to work for!). Does this mean I am a jack of all trades and master of nothing? Probably... :-)

I've applied for jobs where the "must have" requirements were -- in my opinion -- ridiculous (e.g., "must have 2 years experience writing user manuals for amusement park rides..."). John, I DO see your point, but isn't part of being a tech writer having the ability to translate technical material into laymen's terms? Of course, that also implies being able to interview SME's, ask intelligent questions, learn quickly, and have good writing skills.

FWIW, I got my undergrad degree in tech writing from Carnegie Mellon. I majored in it because I wanted to switch out of engineering and it was the only program that I liked that would allow me to graduate on time. The program focused on 2 years of math, science, and computers, then two years of writing classes (style, rhetoric, real-life tech writing exercises). The most valuable thing I got out of my education was the ability to problem solve. I highly recommend CMU's program.


At 6/26/2002 08:33 AM, Foster, Willow wrote:

John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
~> 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.

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RE: The Best TC/TW/TE Education...commentary: From: Foster, Willow

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