Help, and/ or mentor needed?

Subject: Help, and/ or mentor needed?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 12:27:58 -0500

Robert Weisbloom reports: <<I am planning to change careers and want to get
into technical communications/writing. I live in Montreal, Canada and come
from an IT background.>>

I can recommend two resources for you. First, check out the local STC
chapter ( I'm admittedly biased (see my SIG line), but
I think it's a great place to network and get advice. If you're available
tonight, drop by our meeting at 6:30 the Atwater library (details on the Web
page). Second, consider joining the Montreal Techwriter discussion group
( It's much like techwr-l,
only smaller and focused on the Montreal community. No STC affiliation.

<<I've looked into 2 courses given by different instructions. One is a
University, Concordia, in Montreal. Where the classes are offered only in
the classroom.>>

The Concordia program, though "only" a certificate program, nonetheless gets
good reviews, and several of the graduates seem pretty good at their job.
Well worth investigating, particularly since they're night courses and let
you work by day to feed your education habit. <g>

<<The other is a College or called a Technical School in the U.S., Humber in
Toronto, most of their courses are Distance
Education, Web Based and a bit more expensive, which is not a major issue as
to which I'd take.>>

University of Waterloo also offers a good course in Canada.

<<The conundrum is that the subjects offered at each are completely

Pick the course that focuses on the core skills where you're weakest.
Specifically, start with technical writing and editing, since those are the
main skills that will earn you a living. If you've got to choose between two
similar courses, pick the one that also teaches tool skills so that you can
start acquiring experience using the tools that some employers will use to
screen you out--or in--during interviews.

--Geoff Hart, ghart -at- [delete]videotron -dot- ca
President, STC Montreal
Manager and Newsletter Editor, Scientific Communication SIG
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada



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