Re: degreed professionals

Subject: Re: degreed professionals
From: Marilynne Smith <m -dot- smith182 -at- GENIE -dot- GEIS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 06:55:00 UTC

Oh, I agree! A degree means you have survived the required years of
instruction and are ready to tackle your apprenticeship. It doesn't mean
you're any good in your chosen field.

When you come into Technical Writing without a degree, you're good or you're
dead. If you can't do the work, you can't keep the job.

I took a class in writing from a professor with a PhD. She announced on the
first day that when she found out she was going to teach a writing course,
she decided she should be published, and she wrote about a half column for
Modern Bride. At the time she made the announcement, I had already been
published several times, yet she was the professor and I was the student.
Fortunately for me, despite her slim publications experience, she was a good
teacher and I did learn something from her.

In another case, a teacher of technical writing had a PhD in English, her
dissertation being on 20th century Irish poetry. Her technical writing
experience turned out to be the fact that she had been a Secretary for a
medical journal and handled submissions for the journal. She was teaching
the class at a dual undergraduate/graduate level. The graduate students
were required to bring information to the class as a part of their course
requirement. If it wasn't for them, I would have learned nothing.

If I am sometimes skeptical about the value of degrees, you may understand


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