RE: Skills vs education (was: Senior technical writer?)

Subject: RE: Skills vs education (was: Senior technical writer?)
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2006 16:46:44 -0400

Y'all might be saying sensible, even true things, but their relation to what

I said, especially after my _c l a r i f i c a t i o n_ is tenuous.

What is it that's not clear about "profession-specific ACADEMIC training"?

I suggest not putting my words at the top of a message if
the ensuing text is not going to have anything to do with
what I actually said.

Thanks awfully. Good night.


-----Original Message-----
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
[mailto:eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com]
Sent: October 3, 2006 3:30 PM
To: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Skills vs education (was: Senior technical writer?)

Hmm. Perhaps I'm beating a dead horse, but...
mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com wrote on 10/03/2006 03:02:11 PM:
> doctors, lawyers and engineers have "apprenticeship"
> stages following their academic studies, only the engineers
> get their profession-specific academic training as
> undergrads.

While Lawyers and Doctors may go to school for their specialisation, let me
tell you that the level of specialisation of a graduate Engineer with a
Bachelor's degree is VERY low.

An Engineer receives far more specialisation during their years of
apprenticeship, other OTJ training, and continued learning/study. An
Engineer with a Bachelor's degree is really only divided into very generic
groups. Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, Civil, and Industrial. Some
faculties may add Computer Science. While YMMV, after four years well over
half the courses are probably identical for all with only the final year
being completely different from one group to another.

Each really only, IMO, gives you a jumping off point in a very general
direction. Certainly not a well defined career path or anything particularly
"profession-specific". Your first job as an engineer is as important and as
formative to an Engineer as internship and residence is to Doctors. The
requirements, codes, legislation, and ethics you learn and qualify in as an
Engineer are very much the equivalent of the on-going schooling and testing
a Doctor is required to do.

Entering into the Engineering profession with only a Bachelor's would very
much be like a Doctor opting to become a GP. The GP will require a minimum
of 2 years of residency followed by an exam to be licensed. An Engineer too
requires two years of work experience followed by an exam to be licensed. To
specialise further still requires significant study and experience. I was no
closer to designing critical car components upon graduation than a medical
school graduate is ready to open a family practice or perform general

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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