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Subject:RE: TC vs TW From:Technical Writer <tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com> To:"Leonard C. Porrello" <leonard -dot- porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com>, David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Sat, 10 May 2008 17:38:25 -0400
Unfortunately, it also sounds like the content (or lack of content) in both upper-division and graduate-level classes in "technical communication" taught by tenured faculty. The argument that unless faculty is tenured, overpaid, and granted "academic freedom" to spend endless class sessions prattling on about Foucault, the underpinnings of the Sophist movement, and painfully detailed explanation of wooden bicycles as examples of "new technology," they are somehow justified in teaching topics and content that are essentially irrelevant.
Unfortunately, the cost of "good" and "bad" instruction is the same for students, and the time required to write detailed critiques of someone's internal states while using email for the first time, and how it changed their relationship to their family members, is equivalent to that of "real" classes. The bottom line is that if you buy the lie that a degree somehow confers capability, you may find value in it. If not, there are a LOT of classes (and majors) out there that are the equivalent of "Basket Weaving for Physics Majors."
It is a bit chilling to discover that the content of your BS or MS curriculum is dismissed by employers as essentially worthless. That is not what the student advisors tell prospective students.
tekwrytrhttp://www.tekwrytrs.com/ - Contract business analysis and solutions development in Visual Basic .NET, ASP .NET, SQL Server, and XML. Specializing in cost-effective rapid application development (RAD), prototyping, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) IT solutions for SMBs.> Subject: RE: TC vs TW> Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 08:42:19 -0700> From: Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com> To: david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu; tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com; techwr -at- genek -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> > What you describe sounds a lot like what (as you must be painfully> aware) has happened at the university and junior college, where many,> many classes are taught by underpaid, no-status, non-tenure track> "assistant professors". Is there a solution?> > Leonard C. Porrello> > -----Original Message-----> From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c> om] On Behalf Of David Hailey> Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2008 8:25 AM> To: Technical Writer; Gene Kim-Eng; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Subject: RE: TC vs TW> > >>>"The sad part is that such concepts form the basis of many academic> programs in "technical communication."<<<> > > Like graphic design, illustration, and copywriting, technical writing is> evolving into a freelance-driven profession -- that means a future with> fewer jobs, lower wages, and fewer benefits. I earlier mentioned that in> some places 45% of the job listings were contracted. The spooky thing is> that the vast majority of contract jobs are never listed. There is no> telling what percentage of TW jobs are outsourced or insourced or> offshored, but it has to be well over 50% already, and the trend is only> beginning.> > > Technical communicators who really ARE technical communicators, have a> broader foundation with more opportunities for innovation and promotion,> AND if they have complicated jobs that demand a variety of skills, their> jobs are more inoculated from outsourcing. Tech comm. programs that give> their students a broad and technically current degree, are doing their> students a great service.> > Many technical writers are comfortable with the "old" traditions, but> I'm here to tell you the traditions are changing.> > > David E. Hailey, Jr., Ph.D.> Associate Professor -- Professional and Technical Writing> Utah State University> dhailey -at- english -dot- usu -dot- edu> >
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