Re: TW and education (was Re: Houston Area Jobs)

Subject: Re: TW and education (was Re: Houston Area Jobs)
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:47:42 -0500

At 09:24 AM 12/10/96 CST, "Sporleder, Kevin" <kevinsp -at- CRT -dot- COM> wrote:
>Jane Bergen wrote:

>"With all due respect to Robin and the countless others that Dave
>Locke seems to have set off.... I think this was the whole POINT of
>his message: that many of today's tech writers were GIVEN their
>jobs, but tomorrow (not now, not ten years ago...) degrees will be
>required. The industry is moving in that direction, like it or not."
> --------------------------------------------------------


>I have worked with many people both with and without degrees. Some with
>degrees could barely write their way out of a paper bag. Possessing a degree
>does not automatically show ability to write or to get a job done. A degree
>also does not necessarily show willingness to learn or to make sacrifices.

One of the least competent technical writers I ever had the misfortune of
working with has a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in Technical
Communication from Rennsalaer (sp?). Not only could he not string two
sentences together on paper, he had absolutely no people skills. He was
rude, arrogant (after all, HE has the TC degree so he must be right!),
incapable of listening, and downright nasty. An important project nearly
went down the tubes because of his attitude and incompetence. Thank heavens
the other committee members were able to shift him to the side and proceed!

>I have no problem with employers who consider degrees when making hiring
>decisions. However, employers miss out on many qualified people when they
>make a degree an absolute requirement.

I also have a brother-in-law who has been working towards his PhD for almost
seven years now. As long as he keeps getting grant money, he'll stay in
school earning more degrees. Is he well educated? Certainly he has more
degrees than I do. Would I hire him? Probably not, unless my sister and my
parents ganged up on me, and then I don't know _what_ I'd do with him!

I've almost completed a certificate program in technical writing. I learned
very little that I hadn't already picked up on the job. The paper will look
good framed on my wall, I'll add another item to my resume, and then I'll
start taking specific training courses instead of going for another degree.


>Kevin Sporleder

Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com

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