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Subject:Demographics of Tech Writers From:Lois Harwood <Lharwood -at- AOL -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 26 Oct 1995 11:10:58 -0400
Dear Tech Writers:
I'm presently a graduate student in tech writing (and yes, I'll mention this
upfront at the risk of having my head handed to me on a platter). I've been
consuming techwr-l's posts for a number of weeks now and have finally
summoned the courage to pose my questions to the 1,500-odd souls who frequent
the premises here (so please be gentle). Be assured that I ask out of
personal interest and not necessity of assignment.
In the tech writing field is it generally considered more desirable to
entrench oneself within a company for the long haul or to work toward total
self-employment? While this decision is obviously influenced by bothersome
little details such as the stability of the larger economy, geographic
location of the writer and other particulars, my assumption is that this is a
choice determined mainly by personality type -- or is there more to it than
I'm completely intrigued with the demographics and mentality of the tech
writing community. If anyone is aware of valid research that would
specifically shine some light on the percentage of practitioners in this
field who are currently independent consultants as opposed to those employed
in a corporate setting I would be very interested in knowing the source.
Additionally, if anyone has participated in an attitudinal survey of
technical writers (regardless of whether this study was conducted by a
professional organization or by an individual company) or knows of any such
surveys that have been conducted I would be thoroughly interested in
obtaining the results. I'm familiar with the STC data from '90 and '92 on
salary and membership "profile" and understand that they have plans to
publish their '95 data within the next few months; for those who are
interested, this will now be an annual survey.
Thanks for entertaining my inquiries. Hope this wasn't too far "off topic".