TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Having taught technical communications for 15 years at UMass Lowell and
Harvard, I can vouch for the quality of some of the certificate courses at
colleges and universities.
Caveat emptor. Do your homework and check out local options before you go
to online route.
And beware the subtle but important difference between "certificate" and
"certified". A certificate is given by a school and certifies that you
completed their coursework satisfactorily. Nothing more. Certified implies
that you met some sort of stringent requirements that have been set forth
by a nationally recognized entity like a standards group or professional
organization, not just a single school. Ask yourself if you'd rather have
a house built by an engineer with a certificate or a professional
certified engineer (PCE).
STC is looking into certification. Until they - or equivalent - promulgate
standards, body of knowledge, etc., there is no "Certified Technical
Writer", only graduates of certificate programs.
> I completed, when they were offering it, the Tech Writing Certificate
> program from Northeastern University, and my background and education is
> in electronics. And yes it did have an impact and as you said "put a bit
> more shine on my resume" so I would recommend you go for it, just my two
> pennies worth.
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