RE: Technical Writing

Subject: RE: Technical Writing
From: "Anameier, Christine A - Eagan, MN" <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 11:56:10 -0600

Somebody wrote:
> I am considering a proffesion as a technical
> communicator and i feel that the best way to succeed
> in such a career as this is to major in Engineering
> and minor in Philosophy(as a link to the publishing
> industry). . . . i would like to know how the members of
> this forum got into this field and what educational goals
> you would reccomend for someone in my position

I was an English major. I got most of the way through a PhD before
realizing I didn't want to be a professor. After a brief detour into
advertising, I wound up doing technical writing because (a) I can write
and (b) I'm a geek.

This is a topic we've discussed a lot--the archives include many
speeches from people (myself included) advocating their own educational
choices. I don't want to get into that debate again, so I'll just say:
if I could do it again, I'd do exactly the same thing. (Well, maybe I'd
quit grad school a year or two earlier and save myself a ton of student
loans.) I write end-user software documentation for applications that
didn't exist when I was in college. I can't see how majoring in
engineering or programming back then could have helped me with my
current work. FWIW, I took two courses in philosophy and they've had no
impact on my marketability one way or the other. In fact, beyond
"English major," nobody knows anything about my undergraduate studies,
and nobody ever asks.


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