Re: Obsession with University Degrees?

Subject: Re: Obsession with University Degrees?
From: "Katherine D. Fisher" <kdfisher -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 15:31:59 -0700

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM wrote:

> Does that mean some brilliant tech writer or someone who has had
> novels published or whatever is banned from the job simply because of
> a lack of University qualifications?

> In many cases, yes. You fail to appreciate one of the main points of the
> American psyche. We, as a nation, are lazy. It was that very laziness which
> drove us to be inventive (and which fuels the countless get rich quick
> pyramid schemes floating around).

> Requiring a college degree is simply the lazy man's way of approaching the
> hiring process. It reduces the number of potential hires without the
> recruiter having to expend any effort determining whether the applicant in
> question has any ability at all. Sure, we rationalize it in a hundred
> different ways, but at heart it's simply that we don't care to expend the
> time and effort finding out whether a given applicant is qualified, so we
> erect some arbitrary barriers to reduce the workload.

> Have fun,
> Arlen
> Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
> DNRC 224

> Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
> ----------------------------------------------
> In God we trust; all others must provide data.
> ----------------------------------------------
> Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
> If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

I had my best training for writing from my seventh grade teacher, who
taught me how to diagram sentences--a long-ago-discarded and, IMHO, very
necessary skill. I have a degree in philosopy (not technical writing),
which required tons of writing, writing, and more writing! I have over 11
years of tech writing experience and over 20 years of applied experience,
and I've never been turned down for a job for which I am qualified. This
business about a tech writing degree being mandatory is hogwash. When I
was in school, tech writing as a field wasn't even an idea! If you have
the skills and the background, you shouldn't have a problem selling

Kathy Fisher
Freelance Tech Writer
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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