Re: Advanced degrees -Reply

Subject: Re: Advanced degrees -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 12:37:10 -0800

On 25 Nov 96 at 16:02, Elaine R. Firestone wrote:

> I have a related question. I'm a technical editor (I'll edit
> anything, I'm not picky) with most of my experience (almost 5 years
> with "technical editor" in my title) in science. If I went back for
> a Master's in Technical Communication, emphasizing writing more
> editing, would it help me get ahead, or would I be wasting my time
> since I'd probably be able to get into the writing aspect OJT?

I think if there were 10 Commandments for Technical Writers and
Editors, the first 9 would be: Educate Thyself and Keep Thy Skills
Current, Sharp, and Up-To-Date. Acquiring a college degree doesn't
make you educated, any more than going to McDonald's and buying a
burger makes you well fed. Education, like nutrition, is a constant,
everyday process. People who survive to be called Senior Technical
Writers know this and practice it. The disappointed and the
disgruntled do not.

If you show hustle and enthusiasm, as you do, it will help your
career. If you educate yourself, it will help your career. You can
educate yourself without the investment of time and money necessary
to acquire a degree.
On the other hand, employers seem to be slowly becoming aware of
people with degrees in technical writing, editing or communication.
Where a degree with an English major has been a sufficient credential
for most jobs, the picture could change over the next 10 to 20 years.
If you see yourself competing for technical editing or writing work in
the workplace that far down the road, the Technical Communication
degree might be a good thing to arm yourself with. But don't forget
the first 9 commandments.

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