Re: Certification (long)

Subject: Re: Certification (long)
From: Karen Kay <karenkay -at- CADENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 16:57:05 -0800

[about changing careers]
>Would it have made it easier? I doubt it. You would have had to aim for
>passing through whatever the certification process was, in addition to
>discovering and improving your writing abilities.

Very little of what I did in order to get a tech writing job actually
involved writing. I took one tech writing course that was badly taught
and useless, and an equally bad editing class. The editing class was
useful because it gave me practice in using copyediting marks, but
that was it. The course was supposed to be nonfiction editing, but the
teacher was a fiction editor.

Most of what I did was in the nature of acquiring technical expertise.

>Education as a prerequisite for certification would
>have required that you take a great deal of time to make the changeover.

It took nearly two years as it is. I have a B.A., 2 M.A.s, and an
M.Phil. If tech writing required a tech writing degree, I would not
have chosen it as a field.

>Certification adds one more item to the to-do list for anyone wanting to
>enter the field.

It doesn't have to. It COULD cut the time. It depends how
certification is done.

What I found annoying about changing careers is that after two years I
ended up getting a job that I was perfectly qualified to do the moment
I decided to look for a tech writing job. But I had to spend nearly
two years doing other stuff just to convince employers that I was
serious about changing careers. It's possible that certification could
have made the transition easier for me.

Karen
karenk -at- netcom -dot- com


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