TW and grad school

Subject: TW and grad school
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 20:00:42 -0500

"Bergen, Jane" <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM> wrote:

>questions about education for tech writers are never "drivel" >-- especially on a list for tech writers! Yet there appears to >be a vocal few on this list who are paranoid about any >discussion of education/certification issues.

I hope that I'm not among the paranoid, but I think that both education
and certification are full of potential problems.

One problem in education is the speed at which the field is moving. For
example, I know of at least one program in which students are still
being taught to think of paper and on-line manuals as different,
although the real issue for many working writers is how to single-source
both types of manuals.

Another is the administration and organization of new programs. Often,
traditional educators don't have much understanding or appreciation of
technical communication. On the other hand, many technical communicators
aren't teachers. And the whole idea of a partnership between academia
and business is distasteful to a good many people, if only for the quis
custodiet question: that is, how do the academics judge the standards
set by the business people, and guard against things like nepotism?

Not that these concerns can't be deal with. But they are certainly worth
raising. A little creative paranoia beforehand can save you time later.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com) (604) 421-7189 or 687-2133 X. 269 (redesigned and updated 07 Feb 1998)

"So in the spring of the year, we took the fleet,
Every cask and cannon and compass sheet,
And we flew a Jacobean flag to give us heart;
While Pitt stood helpless we were waiting for Bonaparte."
--The Men They Couldn't Hang, "The Colors"

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