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A certificate helps you more than just giving you "credentials".
If you pick a good program, you'll learn (I hope) that technical writing
is not just writing.
A journalism background is a great introduction to technical writing. I
think you'll do very well. I imagine that journalists have to understand
their readership, stick to style, keep it simple and organized, and work
with the facts at hand. One also hopes that journalists are better than
average at working with people and especially good at interviewing.
By all means go to your STC chapter's next meeting. Bring a resume and
business cards, and a portfolio if you have one. Ask everyone about
their recommendations for certificate programs.
I belong to the Silicon Valley chapter of the STC. We meet the 4th
Thursday of every month (including tomorrow) at the TechMart in Santa
Clara. I am a recent graduate of San Jose State University's
Professional Development Center (PDC) with a certificate in technical
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
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From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Adrienne Kelley
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:33 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Career change to tech writing
Browsing through the recent archives, I can see that it's been *at
week since a newbie has appeared asking for help, so...consider me this
week's offering. :)
My background: I have 75% of a BA in journalism, a full BA in sociology,
well as more than 10 years' work experience in a variety of
functions, including proofreading for a couple of small local papers way
back when. Currently I work for a small insurance trust, where I do the
occasional "technical" writing, including explanatory documentation for
customers, our plan documents, and a company procedure manual. It's
long road for me to discover technical writing as a doable career choice
a quasi-geek; until recently I did not have the proper focus, but now
do I'm dedicated to going for this with guns a-blazin'.