Re: Oh, no -- the degree wars again!

Subject: Re: Oh, no -- the degree wars again!
From: Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 12:13:32 +0100

Degrees don't matter (again!)

In the UK there was (or at least until recently) no recognised
qualification in tech writing apart from the City&Guilds Certificate (which
many authors didn't have anyway). Entry into the profession tended to be
"osmotic". Writers tended to document their own specialities so writers
documenting hardware tended to be engineers (degree, apprenticeship schemes
etc) and so on. Software authors tended to cover the whole spectrum of
degrees (not many computer science degrees though!). People who wanted a
qualification tended to do the C&G course (ideal as often distance

It seems to have improved over the last few years with degrees available in
tech writing (in various forms) and a number of postgrad courses which are
becoming popular for two main reasons:

Some employers DO think degrees matter and it looks good on CVs!

To generally raise awareness/standards in the profession - they do give
a certain amount of "recognition"

One thing which is also being done here by the C&G is the creation of a
Licentiate scheme. This does not involve exams etc but is based on
experience, samples etc thus giving recognition to those who do not have a
degree etc but are still good writers! This is equivalent to the European
Master Craftsman award (useful for anyone wishing to work in other European

Damien Braniff
Technical Author
PAC International

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