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Shawn Bloomquist wrote:
> Great! Thanks so much for the confusion. Here I am busting my behind
> getting a degree in TW with plans of continuing on towards an MS in
> Technical Design, and all I am reading is that it is a waste of my time.
> What I enjoy most is writing, but I have absolutely no experience in
> professional writing or documentation. How the *#$* am I supposed to get
> hired to gain this valuable on the job experience?
That's why companies like ours hires interns. We understand that the
thing most in demand is experience in the field, supported by
demonstrated knowledge of the requisite tools. We also have observed
the truth "You have to have experience in order to get experience."
In the last six months, I've seen more evidence of companies willing to
hire interns, or to hire people who did summer internships with them
before. If that mode isn't available to you, I suggest the best way to
get that experience is to take on anything you can get that gives you
some exposure to technical writing. This may involve working on a Help
desk, doing training, support work, etc. Eventually your skills as a
writer will get found out, and while you may not be able to move up to a
tech writing position at that company, someone else may be more willing
to hire you as a tech writer.
As one employer, I can tell you that I don't value a technical writing
degree as highly as I value a degree in something that has taught the
person how to learn independently. Computer skills can be taught, and
can be learned fairly quickly by a reasonably motivated and intelligent
person. But I don't have time to teach someone how to learn.