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I just thought I would put in a few thoughts from
someone who has 3 university based certificates
(tech writing, tech editing, and professional
These meant that I took more classes in these
areas (over and above my BA in English with
emphesis in Technical Writing), had to maintain a
B or better in all of them, and prepare a
portfolio of material for each that was then
judged by a board of 5 professors in order to
receive each certificate.
Did it make a difference? I think it did. I was
already in the field, running my own department
while doing this, and I still found it valuable.
First, it showed that I had additional education
in these things. I could pick up additional tool
sets and have examples of my work without
worrying about getting permission from my current
job (DoD). It also gave me a broad base for my
interests which are varied and prove that I am
competent in each...without a job experience for
It let me be both an experienced worker (9 years
at the same company) and a college student (new
graduate in 2001) in my interviews. Did I get
more money? I don't think so... but it got me in
The coursework, interactions in classes,
experience in tools and requirements, all lead to
a highly successful and varied career.
Should it be required? No. Should it be
encouraged? It depends. Should I be derided for
having them? I hope not!
Have a great week,
--- techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com wrote:
> Message: 7
> Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 06:08:43 -0800 (PST)
> From: Chris Borokowski <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Tech Writer Certification
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> <575012 -dot- 94728 -dot- qm -at- web57811 -dot- mail -dot- re3 -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> To my mind, what distinguishes a technical
> writer is
> the ability to pick up any discipline and
> explain it
> to others. We're communicators. Some would like
> make it a technical degree, but that's probably
> foolish. It's a field for those who straddle
> arts and sciences.
> --- Joanne Wittenbrook
> <jwittenbrook -at- ameritech -dot- net>
> > >Science and technology - basic
> > programming/physics/electronics
> > >Graphic design - layout, page design etc.
> > >Basic business - marketing etc.
> > >Anything else you think we should all know!
> > ________________________________
> > There are many tech writers who do not deal
> > science at all.
> code | tech | docs | leadership
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo!
> Mail beta.
> Message: 8
> Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 14:14:10 -0000
> From: "Dubin, David" <David -dot- Dubin -at- sage -dot- com>
> Subject: RE: Tech Writer Certification
> To: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>,
> <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
<8ABBCACDB8290644935FDBF8BC86656501E23AEA -at- GS-CLUSTER2-2 -dot- gs -dot- adinternal -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
> Chris Borokowski said, "what distinguishes a
> technical writer is the
> ability to pick up any discipline and explain
> it to others." I strongly
> agree with that, but would like to add one
> other aspect. In my opinion,
> the other thing that distinguishes a technical
> writer is his or her
> ability to understand how to organize the
> information they are
> documenting and present that organization in a
> logical and easily
> understood manner to others who are not
> familiar with that same
> David B. Dubin
> Senior Curriculum Developer
> Sage Software
> 727-579-1111 x 3356
> david -dot- dubin -at- sage -dot- com
> Your business in mind.
> Message: 9
> Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 09:28:06 -0500
> From: "Susan Hogarth" <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: [TCP] certification (was: ranting
> To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
<3889aa560703050628h5dfec827i526f4825bd562fe2 -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1;
> On 3/2/07, Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
> > Susan Hogarth wrote:
> > > On 2/28/07, Donald H. White
> <dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com> wrote:
> > >> I still have no idea why the concept of a
> professionalization program
> > >> causes
> > >> so much ire. ...
> > > From a libertarian perspective, I think
> some people might see such a
> > > program as a first step toward mandatory
> licensing. It's unfortunate,
> > > but in so many cases private certifications
> have supported
> > > cartelization in this fashion.
> > A tech writing cartel? Wow. Cartels are
> monopolies formed to control
> > the supply and price of a commodity.
> Yes, and fortunately they do not work very well
> unless they are backed
> up by the power of government requirements for
> the product
> (certification) they offer.
> > So now that you mention it, I
> > think I do see, that if TW certification was
> tied to an organization
> > that could effectively (through
> certification) control/limit the number
> > of TWs in the field, it would indeed suggest
> a cartel. This has happened
> > in other fields? I guess I had best google
> for more.
> Doctors? (AMA) Lawyers? (ABA) Either of those
> ring a bell? I would
> describe them as cartelizing organizations
> backed by the government.
> > While I'm confident that certification alone
> could never result in TWs
> > having cartel powers (cool if it could),
> I agree. It takes government backing to get
> anywhere close to a real
> monopoly. I for one do not find cartels 'cool',
> but that's just me. I
> guess I'm too consumer-oriented.
> > still, as I think you say,
> > certification could be awarded by a TW
> organization that somehow comes
> > to represent tech writers in the marketplace.
> That's a more potent (and
> > dangerous) situation, with the potential to
> control the supply of TW
> > (the commodity). I think I prefer to be an
> unherded libertine cat, and
> > keep my mits on the cream that such an
> organization would otherwise skim. ...
> As long as there are no legal constraints on
> hiring, businesses will
> have incentives to keep hiring 'uncertified'
> writers - they're less
> expensive, for one! But some may prefer
> certification; again - nothing
> the market can't handle unelss government steps
> in and makes
> certifications mandatory.
> Susan Hogarth
Don't pick lemons.
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