Re: education and the profession

Subject: Re: education and the profession
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 21:40:30 GMT

>Judith Rosenberg <com427 -at- clc -dot- cc -dot- il -dot- us> wrote:

>>1. Do you see growth in the need for technical writers over the next
>>five years?

Not sure. I think it depends on the budget of the company in question.

>>2. In your experience, is there a need for academic programs to train
>>students in technical writing?

Definately. Speaking from experience, the technical writing class I took
on my major (English) was absolutely useless. The one I took that they
gave to the science/engineering students was very helpful.

>>3. What are the subjects that should be stressed in an
>>academic/career program in Technical Communication? (Example: clear,
>>concise writing; document design; audience analysis; online
>>publishing; computer technology, etc.)

* The ability to research from several different sources: vendor data,
interviews, manuals, old procedures, etc.

* The ability to analyse a process or system: some sort of rhetoric,
logic, etc.

* Writing skills, obviously

* Ability to work as part of a team or as an individual writer.

In addition, one field exercise I would recommend is setting up the
students so that they have to do a project where the answers aren't found
in the library. The projects in my 300-level writing class were so
incredibly easy compared to real life that they were darn-near useless.

Good luck.

Nancy Lynn Hayes (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov) Carpe Diem
Seize the Day!

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