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Don't despair. I have only an A.A. in English and have been a TW for
nearly 15 years. Yes, I had to start at the bottom for a pretty low
salary, but I worked hard, attended workshops and seminars to improve my
skills and broaden my horizons, learned the technology for whatever
company I was working for at the time, proved myself as capable of
handling not only writing/editing, but also document design, page
layout, basic graphics work, web design, etc., and have therefore been
able to increase my salary by over $20K during the last 6 years alone.
In fact, the company I work for now has about 6 PhD's on the senior
management team, plus oodles of folks with Master's degrees, yet they
were willing to hire me to start up and run their Tech Pubs effort. I'm
living proof that you can succeed in this business even if you don't
have a CS or EE degree or read Scientific American.
Sr. Technical Writer
Home Wireless Networks, Inc.
Norcross GA (USA)
cwhutchings -at- homewireless -dot- com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cohen, Dan, Sherry, Nathaniel, Brittany [SMTP:dcohen -at- ERINET -dot- COM]
> Sent: Monday, May 11, 1998 9:14 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Student's Questions
> Hi all,
> I have been lurking on the list as part of a school project. I need
> some information, and I hope one (or more) of you can answer my
> I will give you a little background first. I am attending a
> and Community College that gives AS degrees in Technical Writing and
> Editing. (TWE) I am specializing (minoring) in Medical Documentation.
> hope to write documentation explaining how to use your new MRI machine
> or Hospital Training Manuals. Things like that.
> I have been monitoring the "Non Technical, Technical Writer" thread
> very closely. Can I write manuals about medical subjects without
> a doctor or nurse? I am very interested in the subject, read lots of
> medical journals, understand the terminology, know biology and
> chemistry, have an extensive knowledge of pharmacology, and just
> generally love everything to do with the subject. I also love
> research. Your remarks though, have me worried about my future
> qualifications for employment.
> This leads me to my next question. The school I attend only
> two year degrees, and there are no reasonable alternatives. The only
> college offering a four year degree in Professional Writing close
> to reach by commuting is a private, Christian college, requiring a
> testimonial from some religious person attesting to the applicants
> and active involvement in a church. That let's me out! I must commute,
> because I am a woman, who has two children at home, and a husband that
> travels Monday through Friday every week. No others offer four year
> degrees, although some offer graduate work, but I'd need a BS first.
> Now, I know my program is well thought of in professional circles.
> The dept. chair is VERY active with the local STC, but...where is my
> going to get me? Every employment add I see wants a BS in some
> Am I going to be employable? Or am I wasting my time here?
> I would appreciate hearing from anyone and everyone who wishes to
> advise or comment.
> Sherry Cohen
> dcohen -at- erinet -dot- com
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF