Re: Certification--a new concept. Discuss.

Subject: Re: Certification--a new concept. Discuss.
From: "T.W. Smith" <techwordsmith -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2005 20:53:39 -0400

I think it lessens the worth of the certificate to say only when you
are down to a few finalists will you give the nod to the one with the

That being said, I have no good answer, but am looking to one.

I'm a certified EMT. That's a specific set of knowledge defined by the
governing body, in this case the State of CT's interpretation of
federal DOT guidelines. What I can do is a specific set of
interventions further restricted by the hospital with which the agency
I work for is affiliated. That's pretty specific. Moreover, you cannot
hire someone to work as an EMT if they do not have the cert.

I'm a certified SCUBA DIVER (Advanced Open Water). That means, uuuum,
very little. Dive shops are supposed to care and look at my cert and
deny me access to certain SCUBA activities based on my cert and my
supporting documentation. It's not a rigid thing though.

I'm a licensed soccer coach. That means I know a body of knowledge. In
some areas, it's a requirement to coach, but that's on a
per-soccer-club basis.

I'm a certified fire officer, certified to national and state
standards. It means I've been exposed to a certain body of information
and trained on certain bureaucratic, practical, tactical, and
strategic operations. But, whether such a certification is required to
be a fire officer depends on the fire department agency involved and,
for hiring purposes, such a high-level training is at best not
considered and at worst a kiss of death.

I was a certified Adobe Expert for FrameMaker 6. I enjoyed getting
there but it didn't do much for me -- not sure if there was some way
for me to make it work better for me, Adobe provided no clues, for

I am licensed to drive (motorcycle, car, fire engine). Apparently,
that means I can buy beer.

So, I am still confused about what we would want from a technical
writing certificate and how we would sell that to potential employers
who, as far as I can tell, are looking at most for a low-cost,
short-term investment.

On 7/23/05, Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:
> Dinner conversation.


> Those are the qualifications I'm going to look for on the résumé. If I
> find two candidates who are similarly qualified in those regards and one
> of them also has one of these newfangled tech writing certificates,
> that's the one I'm more likely to hire, all else being equal, because
> that person might be better able to roll with the punches and take on
> other kinds of assignments when this project is done.


Remember, this is online. Take everything with a mine of salt and a grin.


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Certification--a new concept. Discuss.: From: Dick Margulis

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