RE: certification

Subject: RE: certification
From: holmegm -at- attbi -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 12:03:50 +0000

"Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> wrote:

>While I'm on the subject, I also _believe_ that we are not discussing a
>device that becomes either a barrier to entry or a job requirement, except
>perhaps for certain senior positions. Rather, it would be a personal
>accomplishment that might result in a promotion or raise, once its value and
>credibility were established.

Well, I think it would be very convenient to use it as a barrier for entry,
and that the path of least resistance is often followed. It is *difficult*
to screen resumes and evaluate technical communicators for hire. It would
be *so* easy for an HR department to use a certification as a screen, which
would make it a barrier. Maybe I'm being too pessimistic about human nature.

>And I _believe_ that we are discussing some sort of program that we as tech
>writers would design and administer through some professional association
>rather than a tool certificate awarded by a software vendor.

Someone does have to do the work of establishing, administering, and paying
for it. I'm reluctant to pay for something that I consider to be of dubious
value - am I alone in that? As is my employer - how does it help them? They
know my capabilities, and knock on wood, they like them. Why should they pay
for something that would be of no value to them, and that would be of value to
me only in leaving them?

Of course, if it becomes a barrier in my profession, I would have to pay for
it, but you say that's not what we're talking about. So, I'm not paying for
it, and employers aren't paying for it, that leaves ...

>Some posters have indicated they believe otherwise on these latter points;
>but if this discussion is going to be at all useful, we should at least
>agree on what it is we're talking about.

I guess I fall in the 'some posters' camp. Again, I think that just as it is
too easy for employers to specify tool proficiency now, it would be too easy for
tool vendors to step into the certification role.

Greg Holmes
Completely Non-Certified Font Fondler, web programmer, database
misadministrator, CBT developer, stand-up trainer, yadda, yadda, yadda ...

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