Re: Is the STC worth it?

Subject: Re: Is the STC worth it?
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 20:29:57 -0500

I think Tony nails it with these two points.

A technical writer is valuable for the experience in areas outside the writing. Anyone can write; we all learned in third grade. And Microsoft Word has both spell checking and grammar checking. It is knowing how to read that C++ and explain it, explain the care and maintenance of that jet engine, explain operating that new radio system, and so on.

And the country has gone nuts with the demand for degrees. I've been told many times, the type of degree doesn't matter; you just have to have a degree. As such, a degree is necessary for technical writing, although most of the world has no idea what we do or how to build a curriculum for it. Until 10-15 years ago, technical writers typically didn't have degrees, or if they did, they were in something else like engineering, programming, technology, English, Journalism, and such. The experienced tech writer was as much a product of the school of hard knocks as anything, and many advanced degree holders are often put off by people like that.

So the STC certification was a plan to solve that issue.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tony Chung" <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: "Charlotte Branth Claussen" <charlotteclaussen -at- gmail -dot- com>
Cc: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 6:07 PM
Subject: Is the STC worth it?

Hi Charlotte,

I guess they eventually discovered what we all knew intrinsically, that a
technical communicator is not a technical communicator. You really cannot
standardize competencies across our field because once to you get past
writing, editing, and structure, there are no best practices, only what
works for a given case at a given time based on the present level of

Hardly leaves room for growth in technical areas.

Now about academics being an insular species who don't understand the
world: I don't fault academic learners who understand that there are
multiple intelligences and that people learn different ways. However I find
people who invest in the higher academic system (PhD, Masters, Bachelors)
tend to prefer others of the same. A truly progressive employer will
consider the initiative of self-learning and "university of
Google" candidates in their hiring criteria.


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Is the STC worth it?: From: Tony Chung

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