Licensing tech. communicators

Subject: Licensing tech. communicators
From: Karin Warren <warrenk -at- JACOBS -dot- CSOS -dot- ORST -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1993 20:32:35 GMT

In the letter on page 195 of STC's May '93 Technical Communication journal,
Rita Wetterhan described her encounters with technical writers who perceived
what they do as "just a job" or as a springboard to a "real"profession.
At the end of the letter, she wondered:

" it time for the Society for Technical Communication to
establish a licensing or registration program that makes it easier
to weed out those who just want 'a job?'"

I, for one, am all for it! I've met too many people on the market who call
themselves tech. writers/editors/communicators because they like to write or
are interested in technology. Despite their good intentions, these people
not only diminish the quality of communications as a whole (e.g., poorly
written software manuals, jargon-filled reports, etc.) but are also
reinforcing the notion that tech. communication isn't a *real* profession,
that it's just a line of work you can go into if you've got the urge.

Any thoughts out there on the usefulness of certification? What kinds of
tests could be devised to measure our skills?


K.C. Warren, warrenk -at- jacobs -dot- csos -dot- orst -dot- edu

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