Subject: Append
From: "Merrell, K.W. (8-294-7813)" <kmerrell -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1993 09:43:48 PST

I subscribed to this forum a couple of weeks ago, and have been
reading it with awe and wonder ever since. I think the subjects
are fascinating, the information is helpful, and the writers
sincere. BUT! I am appalled at the spelling, grammar, etc., that
appears. I know the notes are informal, but SO MANY errors
show up - for instance, "you're" for "your" - that good writers
never make, even when they write their grocery lists! It really
makes me wonder if the forum ought to stop emphasizing *getting*
a job and start emphasizing *doing* much better on the job you have.
As for getting a job without having a degree - I went back to
college at age 42 because I was so tired of being turned down
for jobs *just* because I didn't have a degree. I had all sorts
of paid writing experience, but was never able to prove my ability
(portfolio or not) without that sheepskin. I got my degree in
technical communication and an excellent job right after graduation.
So speaking from both sides, the degree doesn't affirm writing
ability (school can't really teach you how to write), but it DOES
answer a job requirement for most writing positions. And you get
interviewed (and probably the job) before non-degreed candidates even
get in the running.
My advice to anyone seeking a technical (or any other) writing job:
be a good writer BEFORE you go to school, but GET THAT DEGREE!!! It's
yours forever, and can get you a whole lot further than begging can.
Karen Merrell

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