Re: Why so few medical techwriters

Subject: Re: Why so few medical techwriters
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 14:58:01 -0400

bounce-techwr-l-106467 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com wrote on 08/24/2004 02:03:55 PM:
> Hold on a second here. Is there no other purpose to
> higher education than dollars and cents?

Perhaps there is. And if you have the luxury of spending your valuable
time and money on learning for learning's sake without other means of
support or consideration of supporting yourself in the future, all the
more power to you.

Got to admit, I went to University because it seemed expected of me. I
chose the field I did because it interested me and I was sick of
programming (had been since the middle of high school).

But, when I learned through the local business section that a local
company values is doing so well and values it's employees so much that it
pays it's fork-lift operator 90,000 a year with an annual bonus or that a
certain welding specialty has someone younger than I am making a low
six-figure salary, I certainly question whether High School Drop Out
followed by a trade school education might not have been a better choice
than a B.Eng.

> All else being equal ...

But, all else ISN'T equal. When a Writing Master's student hits the job
market, they'll be a number of years further in debt and their technical
knowledge (from their previous major) will be those same number of years
out of date. They will be competing for jobs either with people in
virtually the same situation as they are (their fellow graduates, over
whom they have zero advantage) or those who have actual job experience
with demonstrable writing/documentation skills and current industry

Or, if you're competing for a technical communication position and the
difference is an old, and unused, undergraduate degree with a Master's in
writing or a Master's in a Technical field with a previous minor in
writing coupled with years of writing samples in the for of lab reports
and projects, well I think the technical education has a much better

Now, if you pursue post-graduate studies while working it may be a
different case. But, wouldn't pursuing the scientific Master's better
further your career than pursuing a writing Master's? Or is it even better
still to ignore post-graduate studies and focus on technology courses
and/or various other individual certificates?

Heck, a transit bus driver on a split shift can earn a GREAT living AND
study to their hearts content. Oh well...

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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Re: Why so few medical techwriters: From: Felice Albala

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