[Fwd: Re: Will I be employable?]

Subject: [Fwd: Re: Will I be employable?]
From: Erica <ericamhc -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: jewilliams1 -at- sbcglobal -dot- net, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 11:48:56 -0400


What I've noticed just within the area is that the technical writers
I've worked with are often writing for IT, but do not have a background
there. That means a bigger learning curve for them. I know my two
colleagues at work are highly trained, excellent technical writers, yet
only had one course in their degree in using computers. While I can't
speak to the technical writing market in general, I can say that more IT
background would be invaluable if you do become a technical writer. It
seems clear that computers and the internet are here to stay.
I'm not sure certificates in programming, database design/admin, and web
design, are necessary, but if you are interested in those topics it
can't hurt either. Personally I was a programmer and web
developer/designer first. I have certainly found this has helped me
work with the developers and technical contacts in my company to take
the technical specifications and translate them into user assistance
guides. This has made an immense difference towards my ability to
understand concepts and programs quickly and easily. It has also helped
me extend my technical communicator duties to interface design and web
design within the company, which is exciting for me. However, if these
topics aren't of exceptional interest to you, a few courses will still
be very helpful. Database design and programming for beginners are a
good start. Beyond that you may wish to pick up courses later when you
have found a placement so you can focus right where your employer does -
that helps it remain useful and applicable, and you can always take more
courses later.

My impression is IT training is not absolutely necessary but very helpful.



Technical Communicator, Budding User Experience Designer, Mama of Two Little Boys...


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