Re: What Degree would you Get?

Subject: Re: What Degree would you Get?
From: Mel McNichols <MMCNICHOLS -at- DELPHI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 19:53:26 -0500

First, let me second everything Gina Jerome said. Amen.

There are two choices: find one of the schools that offer a TW-specific degree
and hope they don't have their heads up their sitdown. (Most do, since
writing programs, despite a quarter century of getting up to speed, haven't
gotten up to speed. ) Or, get an education and put it to use, i.e., make a
list of the things others on the list have mentioned, especially business, EE,
computing, take a few electives to get a feel for the stuff, and spend time in
a B.A. that both teaches some thinking and requires a lot of writing.
Optionally, do it the other way: take a good basic science or engineering
degree and add a bunch of electives in writing and communications. Either
way, your degree isn't for getting hired; as Gina Jerome pointed out, it's for
equipping you to stay hired and move ahead. Think ten years past your

Finest kind: after you get your B.A., investigate one of the few good graduate
programs in technical communications. Most aren't worth much, but a few
actually teach things like reading theory, cognitive science, linguistics,
visual communications, etc. that, as Sue Gallagher said, are really important.
Try, say, Michigan Tech, U. of Minnesota , or ask their faculty to recommend
some others. A couple of years invested in an M.A. will pay a lot of
dividends, if it's a good one.

Or, do what most of us did: stumble into it because it's easier to write than
to work. (joke, sort of)

(FYI: here's my education: B.A. English, M.A. and Ph.D. in rhetoric and
linguistics, USC Film School (courtesy of Uncle Sam), and twelve years in the
Navy killing our nation's enemies with a 16mm Bell&Howell 70KRM and a

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