Value of basic computer science qualification?

Subject: Value of basic computer science qualification?
From: "Joey P" <joeyp2008 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 17:08:52 +0800


I'm a relatively new tech writer. I started last year. Although I'm steadily
building up my portfolio, my background isn't technical at all. Over the
last eight years I taught English to non-native speakers, including coaching
on effective presentations and emails. I also did some editing and
proofreading of non-native speakers' academic and business writing. My
degree was in an unrelated Humanities subject, although it did improve my
writing and my ability to organise and present ideas.

I'm comfortable with a range of software tools, including Framemaker in
structured mode. But I don't have any real knowledge of programming or
databases, and not much of an idea about networking either. I think it would
give prospective employers a bit more confidence in my abilities if I had
some kind of computer science qualification. They might feel reassured that
I could talk the same kind of language as developers/engineers, and that I
could easily grasp the concepts I'd have to document.

The kind of thing I'm thinking of is a part-time course at around first-year
university level; one I could do via distance study while continuing to
work. One such course in the UK is the BTEC Higher National Certificate in
Computer Science. What do people think about this? Would a computer science
qualification help me in future? And if so, would a fairly basic one be

Thanks for any advice.


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