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Subject:Degree or not degree, that is the ? From:"Robert E. Allen" <re_allen -at- PNL -dot- GOV> Date:Fri, 3 Jun 1994 19:15:25 GMT
Let me muddy the waters a little more on the degree/non-degree
question. Lots of D's in high school English, but some of it
rubbed off. One English composition class in my freshman year,
no grammar. I got a BA in biology 29 years ago. Then the Air
Force made me a counterintelligence and criminal investigations
officer for 20 years. Along the way I picked up a MS in
management (that was in Wiesbaden, Germany--does that rank with
Andreas' MA from Heidelberg?) Unlike the movies,
counterintelligence and criminal investigations deal with bunches
of reports and very little drugs or spies.
Out in the civilian world I followed the industrial security
route. My last two jobs involved complex reports. My manager
said to run them past "this girl who can fix documents." The
secretaries in the AF did that, so no problem. Then funding for
my program was cut. While seeking another job in the company,
that "girl" called me up and said, "I'm the manager of a bunch of
technical communications specialists..." and now I are one.
The value of the college degree--it was a prerequisite to the
rest of my career. It put me in a place where I had to think
clearly and logically. And the AF started pushing "Effective
Writing" in the late '60s, and I seemed to take to that. I
learned to write on the job. Fortunately, I had time to polish
that skill before I had to do it full time. I doubt if a degree
in technical writing would have started me out with the same
writing skills that 27 years in the workforce gave me. Of
course, with a degree in tech writing, maybe I would have needed
only 25 years of experience to be this good.