TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Jeff: Have you considered getting some technical communication training?
Some universities offer certificates in such, which may be right for you
being that you already have a degree, and the classes for a certificate
would be less expensive than graduate classes. The University of Minnesota,
Department of Rhetoric has a program for a technical communications
certificate, and I'm sure other colleges do also. If you search for
"society for technical commications" on the Web, you can find the STC
homepage in Virginia. The STC site provides links to educational resources.
If you received some training, you would probably have to go through an
internship, which would result in some technical (procedural) documentation
that you could put in your portfolio. Employers want to be assured that you
can write procedural information.
Another point: Without receiving any additional training, you may be able
to obtain employment with a consulting firm. The firms will train you and
take you into their "family." I have a good friend who went this route. She
travels a lot but is single and without children so it isn't such an issue.
She's getting lots of training and is receiving a very good salary.