RE: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?

Subject: RE: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: 'Steven Jong' <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>, Mark Baker <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 16:40:39 +0000

While most of Steve's arguments are cogent, the certification vs. degree ROI argument is specious. Having a degree is a gating factor for the vast majority of tech writing jobs. Without a degree, you don't even get an interview. So while certification may make a degreed writer more attractive (and be particularly important for someone with a degree in engineering or science), for those writing jobs that do not require a degree, certification is arguably not going to make a difference. In short, certification can't stand on its own. Granted that, you can't factor its value alongside criteria that do stand alone.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Steven Jong
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 9:24 AM
To: Mark Baker; Gene Kim-Eng
Cc: TECHWR-L Digest; Steven Jong
Subject: RE: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?

Also, Gene Kim-Eng commented:

> [T]he biggest problem I have with the STC certification process as it seems to be now is that for all the effort and expense what candidates get is a mark of approval that is at best good for about 25% of an average tech writer candidate's interview. The ROI seems very small compared to making the same investment in some training and certification in a domain related to a writer's intended work environment.

As for ROI, that's a perfectly valid basis for comparison. The price of a bachelor's degree in the United States is extremely high; let's say $50,000 as a basis for comparison, and let's further say that this gets you the domain knowledge that makes up 75% of your interview impact. So what is the ROI of certification in getting a job? For comparison, let's say a certification costs $1000. (We charge less.) At $1000, the program is priced below the average (we're new); significantly below the cost of most individual courses (check out the prices of STC certificate courses, a successful program); and far below the cost of degrees. So if it's worth 25% of your interview, but you only have to spend $1000 to get a 25% impact as opposed to spending $50,000 to get the other 75%, which has the higher ROI?


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RE: STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?: From: Steven Jong

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