TW, education and necessities

Subject: TW, education and necessities
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 12:22:00 -0600

Not too many companies that I've heard of are hiring high school
grads for accounting positions, no matter how good their
"bookkeeping" grades were in high school.

This is the funniest line line I've ever heard in the 10-15 times this
discussion has come around on this list in the past couple of years. I'm
grateful to the soul (who shall remain nameless) who pointed it out to me. I
sorely needed the comedic relief.

People, let's not get puffed up over something this silly. There are laws,
rules and regulations in the accounting field that, if not followed, will
land the accountant and her superiors in prison. Last time I checked, no one
had ever been jailed for dangling a participle, nor even for cold-bloodedly
and with malice aforethought splitting an infinitive.

Yes, writing is a profession. But to claim that one *needs* a college degree
in order to perform it competently is truly amusing. Accounting is also a
profession, but there the similarity stops. I see an accountant at work
every day. (For those who have wondered, yes, my wife has found a better job
and thank you for caring. She's now working longer hours for twice the pay
in the tax department of a trust company.) I know how much the laws change
each year. We don't have to go back and revise all our manuals because
congress has now decided "contact" should be used solely as a verb.

Some of the best writers I've ever known have never seen the inside of an
ivy-covered hall. And some of them teach in one.

In my experience, a college degree is generally required by someone who says
"I had to endure four years of it, so by gum *you* do, too." There is
absolutely nothing, zip, zilch, zero, that is learned at college that cannot
also be learned elsewhere. Period. Do your learning where and when you do it
best. Anything else is ego-boo.

Whoever the person is who was wondering about getting into technical writing
without a degree: Go for it. And don't listen to the narrow minded
university bigots who think their way is the only possible way to do
something. The world is not a maze with only one path to any point on it. If
you want to get into the field without a degree, welcome! There's plenty of
room for another good writer, and plenty of work to keep you busy. If you'd
rather go get a degree in this first, again, go for it! Just because it
isn't necessary doesn't mean you won't find it useful.

The bottom line is whether you can write. I can't comment on that, because I
haven't seen any of your writing, but you've apparently got the key
ingredient, desire. If want to acquire the skills, you can -- from several
places, college being only one among many.

Have fun,
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.

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