RE: Technical Writer Certification

Subject: RE: Technical Writer Certification
From: john -at- garisons -dot- com
To: "Richard Melanson" <rmelanson -at- spirecorp -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 16:59:53 -0400

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.

My 2¢,

John Garison

> 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.
> Rick


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Technical Writer Certification: From: Brian Bertrand
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