TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I am presently pursuing my MS in technical writing here in the midwest. If
you don't have family/$ responsibilities and can attain some sort of aid, I
think this is an excellent time in your life to get a graduate degree. I
have an assistantship and teach an English 101 course. I have had the
opportunity to write training manuals for our department, a local business
and a woman's shelter. I am presently writing an on-line help system for
Mosaic users in our department. I have also studied the relationship
between classical rhetoric and technical writing.
I don't have the responsibilities/paychecks which practicing technical
writers have, but I have had the chance to examine the field without
dealing with bosses, programmers and the like. Essentially, I have had two
years to push myself to the limit intellectually as well as study my field
with relative peace and quiet. I can study Pre-Enlightenment training
manuals and examine how the Enlightenment led to the reductive manual. I
can also get to work and write a training manual for an organization I
support. If you have the chance, spoil yourself. Learn about the field
without the pressures of deadlines and programmers who won't communicate.
Hopefully, people with graduate degrees can use what they learned in their
time out to help better the field.