School vs experience... Was: Why so few medical techwriters

Subject: School vs experience... Was: Why so few medical techwriters
From: "France Baril" <France -dot- Baril -at- ixiasoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 14:40:56 -0400

All the time you spend in school is time you don't spend getting
experience. It is also a fact that all the money you spend in school is
lost if it doesn't get you a more interesting job (in terms of tasks
and/or money), unless you are going to school for the sake or love of
it. This is even more true if you consider the money you don't make
while in school.

At one point you have to ask yourself: "Will experience bring me (and
later employers) more in terms of money and work quality then school?".

I'd be surprised if the answer was a strong yes. I'd say it depends on
timing, your local market and on how good of a job you can find without
the degree (especially if you are thinking of doing a Master's degree).
Sometimes learning on the job is better or the same as learning in
school and it is always cheaper.


-----Original Message-----
From: Felice Albala [mailto:felice_albala -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: August 24, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: Re: Why so few medical techwriters

Hold on a second here. Is there no other purpose to
higher education than dollars and cents? Am I wrong in
thinking that an education is the best place to start
on a career path? Won't a solid foundation of
knowledge serve a person well throughout their career?

All else being equal, wouldn't a candidate with a
Master's in writing be more desirable than one
without? So many tech writers (myself included) don't
start out with the intention of being a tech writer,
and our degrees probably cover a broad spectrum of
disciplines (mine is in Linguistics). I believe that
anyone wanting to be a tech writer or medical writer
is doing the right thing by considering a Master's in

I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing higher education if
that's what they want to do.

Felice Albala

--- eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com wrote:

> > Shannon is getting a BS degree in science with a
> minor in writing. She's graduating this December. As
for a Master's in writing, my point is that it would
> > great for a tech writer, but I can't speak to the
> > issue of medical writer.
> Does anyone have numbers to back up the above
> assertion? Will a Master's in writing gain any
significant advantage in obtaining employment or any
> significant increase in base salary or starting
> position?
> Eric L. Dunn
> Senior Technical Writer


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