Re: Obsession with University Degrees

Subject: Re: Obsession with University Degrees
From: Yvonne Harrison <yvonne -at- IHUG -dot- CO -dot- NZ>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 07:59:40 +1300

Hi All --

Whoa. I think I touched some kind of nerve... Talk about a lot of
postings... Okay, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was coming out for
or against degrees. I was just observing something from outside the US
employment system... and that was it seemed by stipulating a degree lots of
otherwise competent folks were being denied a chance to show their stuff...
It looks from all the replies that this requirement seems to be mainly from
the recruiting end of the market while the more experienced companies simply
hire on experience...

But it's been interesting though... For the record, no I don't have a degree
which I why I asked the original question. Personally as a sometimes
employer of technical writers I just go for the person who looks like they'll
do the best job. One of the best technical writers I know has a degree in
psychology - he can schmooze a SME like you wouldn't believe... :-). One of
my former Team Leaders didn't have a degree but he'd published 3 novels, was
married to a novellist, had written for TV and ran his own manuscript editing
service. Then again I recently interviewed an ex-lecturer who was so
abrasive in the interview I excused myself rather rapidly. He was obviously
not thrilled that I was a woman, I was younger and after battering my
eardrums with tales of his lecturing days said he wanted to be a technical
writer because he was "looking for something easy to do after I retire".

I'd just like to say degree or not, I don't think that has anything to do
with how good the person is. In the end it's the person's life experiences,
their work experiences and their personalities that are going to complete the
package. My current fellow technical writer spent one year in the
priesthood, three years in the army and spent a lot of time digging ditches
before getting into a company that allowed him to work his way up from clerk
to the computer room. He has a terrific personality, he's great working with
the SMEs and he's a good writer.

So I have to agree with Frank Carelli in that we seem to have wandered a
little off the topic and we could probably kill this thread off now... :-)

Yvonne :-)

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