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.
Subject:Re: Certification, again From:Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV> Date:Tue, 2 Jan 1996 20:24:17 GMT
After reading this group of posts on certification, I still think we have
some basic problems with coming up with a certification program.
1. What are we certifying? entry-level skill, advanced skills, ability
to write, research, communicate.
2. What does certification =really= prove? that someone has the skills
for the job or that someone is good at taking tests, passing classes,
3. After those who want the certificate go to the trouble to get it, is it
really that much help in getting a job or advancing on the career
ladder? (To put it another way--is it better to go after a two year
certificate program--or spend two years working as a technical writer
in the real world?)
4. Is a certification program reinventing the wheel? There are several
universities, colleges, and tech schools who have everything from a two=
year program to a full PhD program. Is it worthwhile for the folks at
STC--or anywhere else--to get ulcers trying to figure out a certification
program when some of the universities have already done the work for us?
That said, I seriously doubt I'd go after a certificate if one were
offered--unless my job depended on it. Then I'd be highly ticked off at
being forced into getting something I'm not sure is worth the effort.
None of the arguements I've read convince me that a certificate will get
us anything that experience and-or a degree won't.
Nancy Lynn Hayes nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov OV - NHAYES