training issue questions

Subject: training issue questions
From: Russell Kilday-Hick <rkilhick -at- SFSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 21:22:28 -0700

I am researching a white paper on training issues for technical communicators.

A few questions I have:

In 1994 there were an estimated 150 schools offering certificates, minor,
and major degrees in technical communication. What is that number today and
are there any programs offering master's degrees?

Within these programs, what is the ratio of academic theory (learning to
think critically, writing as problem solving, etc.) to teaching specific
technological skills (SGML, HTML, illustration or graphic design software,
etc.), and how does this compare to 10 years ago?

Judging by the amount of junk mail I get, my guess is that the amount of
companies offering specialized training has exploded in the last few years.
How do I measure this growth? This growth is fueled in part by new
technological development and change but can it be said that this is also
in reaction to schools failing to fill the need?

How does the professional stature of technical communicators compare with
that given other professionals? What effect might this stature have on a
company's willingness to fund the ongoing education of a technical
communicator as opposed to sending the programmers in the same office out
for training?


Russell Kilday-Hicks
Production Specialist
SFSU Publications Office
415/338-3008 * rkilhick -at- sfsu -dot- edu

The difference between
an amateur and a professional is ...
the professional looks it up.

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