Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: Audrey Anglemyer <audreya -at- CLARK -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 12:34:51 -0800

On Wed, 27 Dec 1995, Robert Plamondon wrote:

> No doubt the Tech Writing profession will "mature" just as the
> programming profession has...

> Certification might possibly be an adult-ed sort of thing, but
> I think the likely route is that degrees will be considered to be
> the important thing, and that certificates like that of De Anza
> College's "you took six classes, you're a tech writer" will grow
> into associates' and bachelors' degrees in Technical Writing on
> a widespread basis, and that we Pioneers of Modern Technical Writing
> will be forever uncertified, just as the Programmers of the Early
> Days are.

> And, like the Programmers of the Early Days, we'll do just fine.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As a student at Clark Community College, I am pursuing a
Scientific-Technical Communicatins Degree. This glorified
Associate in Arts Degree Program entails English courses,
choice of a science specialty, computer skills, and the
basic *core* classes. While co-op credits are encouraged
as electives, the value of experience is not incorporated
well into this program. This is a transferrable degree,
not a certificate, and is supposed to carry more clout
than just a traditional degree with a major, say the
program advisors at Clark.

Yet, as I near graduation, it is obvious that having real
work-world experience would be a faster shoe-in to a job.
I am a diligent student, and often find myself standing
among fresh-out-of-high-school and not-so-serious peers,
that could get the same degree without applying
themselves so much as I do.

I will be searching for work to break into the field of
TW before I decide if it's worth continuing my formal
education beyond this program.

I can only hope that my resume and the interview process
will frame my skills better than the next *schooled* TW.
While I do value my education, two years experience in
the real world seems to be a far more valuable asset in
the job search than the two years I'm putting into school.

I see tech-writing to link two greatly varied skill-levels
within in a vast array of disciplines. TW tailors technical
info to even more diverse audiences. I don't believe any
standard certification process could prove skills, or show
adequate job qualifications, although it could be another
useful method of networking.


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