Re: Technical Writing Certificate

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Certificate
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "VincentLatella" <VINCENT -dot- LATELLA -at- saic -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:05:05 -0700

Well, there's probably two of us. :)

IMO, in most any market, the primary value of a certificate for someone
who is a longtime professional with good work experience and references
is to get a foot in the door of potential employers or clients who are
inexperienced with hiring writers and lack confidence in their ability
to recognze qualified candidates. That's the certificate, not
necessarily the study that goes into getting one. Continuing education
never hurts, and my guess is that even the most seasoned person will
learn or renew some useful skill from most any class.

In the current market, I would rank specialized technical or product
knowledge and the willingness to undercut the competition as the two
most influential aspects of a candidate's qualifications. There is
almost nobody out there willing to do OTJ training for newbies right

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
You mean like a DBA who gets a tech writing certificate to look for work
as a TW? In a case like that the certificate would probably be
automatically more valuable. But still I think it's going to depend
heavily on the local market. What's true in Seattle where there's lots
of overqualified candidates to choose from may not be true in Omaha.

Frankly, considering the state of the job market as I know of it, at
this point I think any kind of paper is going to be of way less value
than any school will tell you it is, or any job seeker will hope it is.
All the major employers have been scaling back and shedding employees
left and right, and there aren't as many startups going. At the same
time companies are pressing the government to expand the H1B visa
program. I think at this point, any kind of certificate/degree in the
hands of candidate A will carry much less weight in the minds of hiring
managers than the knowledge that candidate B will accept a much lower
pay rate. But, you have to remember that I am apparently this list's
more or less official cynical curmudgeon.


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RE: Technical Writing Certificate: From: Keith Hood

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