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--- Wade Courtney <WCourtney -at- Elance -dot- com> wrote:
> The "life isn't fair" line means nothing to me. Whether fairness is immaterial is
> relative. It definitely material for me when I am competing with someone who has
> an identical skill set, but I haven't taken the time to pay my $1000 to get
> "Certified Technical Writer" behind my name.
I'm sure I don't understand your objection. I don't know if you have a college
degree, but that is a form of certification, I think, and I've seen that make a
difference between otherwise identically qualified candidates for a position. How
can certification be different from that? People with degrees generally seem to
think they should receive some consideration for that. (I'm not saying you do. I
don't know what your feels about that are.)
I guess my point is that there is always some determination made by somebody of why
they choose to hire one person over another. Certification might, it seems to me,
level the playing field in that it would provide a rationalle for hiring one person
over another where two or more candidates both have, say, Journalism degrees and
comparable experience. If one has bothered to learn some rudimendary skills
associated specifically with Technical Writing, that might be the tipping point.
> Not baloney...maybe salami. While I will agree that the ability to write steps in
> the correct order is not an art, much less a skill. Writing all of the fluff in
> between so that a layman can understand requires a fair amount of creativity and
> as such qualifies as an art. Which craft persons hold certifications? I am zee
In these parts, your area may be different, plumbers and electricians and
bricklayers and woodworkers all have certification programs. I believe in some
engineering disciplines there are certification programs, too. Same for hairdressers
and lawyers and doctors.
I know of no artists in this day and age who hold any certification. In my opinion,
more's the pity as there is some flat awful stuff out there that is presented as if
it were art. Personally, I'd rather be considered a craftsman than an artist any
day. You obviously feel differently.
> That's right, but by whose definition of successful?
Success is always relative, of course. Your point is taken. I was thinking of
success in terms of gainful employment. There are of course other criteria that one
could choose as success.
> Also correct, but I am not so insecure that I need alphabet soup behind my name to
> prove my worth. I prove myself with my appearance, portfolio, skills,
> accomplishments, and resume. I jump through hoops once if the pay an level of
> respect are adequate, but not fiery ones, I chaff.
Hmmm. The first job I got out of the Air Force was with a company that would not
have even interviewed me had I not had a Bachelor's degree. It didn't matter to them
that they weren't hiring me for my degreed knowledge; they weren't. They were hiring
me for a skill I had learned in the Air Force in a six week course, but they refused
to interview others who might have been equally or even better qualified but who
lacked some sort of four year degree.
Maybe in an ideal world the "alphabet soup" you refer to would not hold any weight,
but in the world I live in, it does. Portfolios, skills, appearance, accomplishments
all may win out in the end, but not always. I wouldn't dare to guess how often some
sort of certification makes a difference, but it does. That's a fact.
> I suspect the objectivity of a certification created by tech writers for tech
> writers. I would be more will to support such a venture if it were administered
> and created by an independent party, using tech writers as advisors.
Who certifies lawyers? Other lawyers. Who certifies doctors? Other doctors. They
have successfully lobbied the legislators (well, in the case of lawyers that's
redundant) to make them the arbiters of their own professions. I don't see why
Technical Writers couldn't do likewise.
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