RE: STC Salary data collection

Subject: RE: STC Salary data collection
From: "John Rosberg" <jrosberg -at- interwoven -dot- com>
To: "Kit Brown" <kit -dot- brown -at- comgenesis -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 08:14:54 -0600

Kit Brown wrote:

" STC has changed the way that it presents salary data in order
to build more credibility with hiring managers."

Good idea, in and of itself -- after speaking with a number of HR folks
and hiring managers, I found that few (who are not Tech Comm pros
themselves) knew of the STC, and all felt they had access the what they
considered reliable salary data through other means (Radford, et al).
The Society's Survey may be very useful as an industry specific digest
of information, but the potential for STC data to move company pay
grades one way or the other is, in my opinion and experience, small.

While setting "standards" for our profession is a laudable goal, if I
remember correctly (always an iffy proposition), this has been touted as
one of the Society's goals for quite some time. In my role as a hiring
manager, I would like to *think* I know what standards I hire to meet
(smile), but am certainly willing to benefit from expertise greater than
my own. It would be nice if those standards reflected an increasing
amount of business knowledge on the part of more senior writers (yeah,
I'm tired of explaining why we can't just hire three more writers, and
why it's OK to ship an acceptable set of deliverables, rather than the
coruscating gem we'd all like to produce).

As an on-again, off-again member since the Gerald Ford administration
(when my hair was a very different color), I feel strongly that the
Society expends too much effort staring into our profession's soul
(edited from belly button), and too little time helping it's members
become viewed as more valued members of the workforce (hint, it's got
absolutely nothing to do with standards, job classification,
single-sourcing methodologies, or levels of edit, though these things
are all important).

As always, your mileage may vary (and I just sent my renewal in last


-----Original Message-----
From: Kit Brown [mailto:kit -dot- brown -at- comgenesis -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 3:39 PM
Subject: RE: STC Salary data collection

Hi Everyone--

I normally just lurk on this list, but wanted to address a post
the STC salary surveys that Peter Kelly posted a few days ago (this is
cross-posted to the STC Forum).

As you know, STC has changed the way that it presents salary data in
to build more credibility with hiring managers. When considering this
approach to presenting salary data, STC decided to start with the U.S.
because information for the U.S. is most easily accessible to the
However, STC does NOT plan to stop with the U.S.

Previously, income was self-reported, leading hiring managers to think
the numbers were being inflated. The new process uses data collected by
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1.25 million businesses.

Obtaining and publishing the data is a new process and very different
work on the old, self-reported survey. As with any new process, it's
best to
pilot the process on a smaller scale first, then roll it out to
markets later.

Here is what STC is doing to gather similar information internationally:

--STC contacted the Canadian Dept. of Statistics for information on
technical communicators. STC is waiting to hear from that Department
regarding what is available and how much it would cost to obtain the

-- Several members in the U.K. have expressed interest in using the
information compiled for the U.S. Dept of Labor to update the Labour
Ministry's definitions. STC and ISTC (the U.K.-based Institute of
and Technical Communicators) are communicating about this (see the
in ISTC's newsletter "Are you artistic or professional?" at
e=2 ).

-- STC is working with ISO and other professional organizations around
world to set new standards for our profession.

But all of these initiatives take time and money. STC would love to hear
ideas for acquiring objective salary/industry data in your region.
share your thoughts on the STC Forum, or contact me and I will pass them
along. If you are interested in participating in standards development,
please contact Annette Reilly (annette -dot- d -dot- reilly -at- lmco -dot- com).

Kit Brown
STC Associate Fellow
Chair, STC Global Strategies committee
Comgenesis, LLC
kit -dot- brown -at- comgenesis -dot- com
GMT-7, Mountain Time zone

Coauthor (with Brenda Huettner and Char James-Tanny) of "Managing
Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative
Tools". .

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RE: STC Salary data collection: From: Kit Brown

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