Re: Advanced Degrees

Subject: Re: Advanced Degrees
From: Andy_Altevers -at- STERCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:37:17 -0500

Tony G. Rocco said:

>I took a software documentation course a few years ago from an experienced
tech pubs manager who told us that sooner or later, having a master's level
education is going to become an industry-wide standard for technical
writers in the computer industry. It won't even have to be a tech writing
degree specifically, just an MA/MS of some sort to keep you in the running
with other job candidates.

>Having a Master's degree is a significant achievement that speaks
positively of one's ambition, intelligence, and goal orientation, IMHO,
even when it doesn't directly apply to one's professional field. I'm
finishing my MA in English with a technical writing focus in the Spring of
1997. I will be very glad to be ahead of the pack.

While I congratulate Tony on his achievement, I can't agree with the idea that a
master's level education will soon be required to be a technical writer. Or at
least I don't understand why it should be.

Personally, I don't even have a bachelor's degree. I have been working in the
field for six years now, and throughout my career I have written about some
pretty complicated stuff for the computer industry. After I was hired at my
previous job, I was told that I beat out several people who held varying
degrees. Why? Because I knew how to write, understood the business, and knew how
to obtain information. I feel that these skills are paramount to being a
technical writer. It seems to me that a degree only helps you get your foot in
the door. After that, it's all ability, and if you can show you've got that
ability, you don't need the advanced degree.

- Andy Altevers

All opinions expressed in this message are my own original thoughts. If you find
yourself sharing my opinion, you owe me residuals.

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