Re: Writing Degree

Subject: Re: Writing Degree
From: David Demyan <concord -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 10:30:01 -0700

Steve wrote (regarding entre to the technical writing field):

> Would it be realistic to find work as a technical writer with the
>qualifications listed above or would it be better to get a degree in
>technical writing?

Back in the good ol' days you could get into this field with the general
BA and English Lit MA. That's basically what I did, but of course I
supplemented the education with lots of technical experience. I think
today the tech writing degree would be better.

> Is a PhD in technical writing, or Rhetoric and Compostion
>combined with an M.A. in technical writing, worth the time and effort as
>far getting jobs, receiving more pay, or expanding opportunities?

I've thought many times of going back and finishing the PhD with
specialty in technical writing. The stopping point is that I know
it would not increase my income one penny. Perhaps I'll do it just
before I semi-retire, then teach for the rest of my career. I think
I would have something to offer to the profession as a teacher. But
it would not aid me as a practitioner.

> What's the most marketable technical area to combine with
>a technical writing degree?

The easy answer is computers. Learn to document software. My own
subspecialty is telecommunications and that has been as hot as a
$2 pistol for the last 10 years and will be for a few more. Creating
Windows Help files and multimedia are also hot right now, as well as
computer based training. But there are plenty of other good
specialties. Maybe some of the other respondents can add to the list.

Dave Demyan *** Mendem Concord, Inc.
(908) 753-8500 *** One Mountain Blvd.
concord -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com *** Warren, NJ 07059
FAX: (908) 754-8224

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