The "Perfect" Course of Study for a Technical Writer

Subject: The "Perfect" Course of Study for a Technical Writer
From: Karen <ekarenski-techwrl -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 17:52:25 -0700 (PDT)

I was thinking what the "perfect" technical writing degree would consist of so that students would be the most marketable post-college. Then, I decided to ask what you could include in a list for a curriculum, certificate, or self-study to be prepared to enter or re-enter the job force. Obviously, the writing and communication skills are paramount; however, when I got my degree, the technology was not even available.

Here's my list:

Writing Coursework:
* English Composition/Grammar (all the complete basics)
* Technical Writing
     - Policy and Procedures
     - Manuals and User Guides
* Editing
* Scientific Writing
* Marketing Writing (Advertising/PR)
* Business Communication & Report Writing
* Learning Theory

Business Coursework:
* Marketing
* Small Business Ownership
* Business Analysis (Including UML and other diagramming of processes)
* Project Mananagement

* Microsoft Office (Including Access & Visio)
* Pure HTML, CSS, Javascript (not WYSIWYG)
* Introductory Programming (C++, Java, etc)
* Publishing (Structured FrameMaker)
* Web Development (Dreamweaver, Flash, etc)
* CBT/eLearning Tools (Captivate, Camtasia, Authorware, Director, Others???)
* Online Help Tools (such as RoboHelp, Help & Manual, AuthorIT)
* Graphics (Illustrator, etc)

Also, consider what you think new graduates are lacking when entering the work force.

Can anyone else contribute to this list?

Yahoo IM: ekarenbowen -at- yahoo -dot- com MSN IM: ekarenbowen -at- msn -dot- com AOL IM: ekarenmariebowen

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