Re: Degree

Subject: Re: Degree
From: "Townsend,Emru" <etownsend -at- POSITRON -dot- QC -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 16:38:14 -0500

Sorry, Bill -- no degree here, either. And the degree I was working on
before I left university was a BFA (cinema/animation).

It didn't stop me from getting hired within hours of my interview, nor did
it hamper my later move to another company. Y'know why? Experience, and
lots of it. I had plenty of technical experience, I'd spent years teaching
adults, I was a freelance writer, and I had a solid background in word
processing and layout tools. Combine the four and you get a technically
adept writer who can distill and present information.

Judging from the messages I've read here in the past year*, I'd say a fair
amount of technical writers fall into this field from some other path that
runs parallel.

It would be unfair to many skilled fledglings if you were to look at the
piece of paper and not the skills. While the paper more or less guarantees
a certain skill set, the lack of the paper doesn't necessarily disqualify

*In the time I've been here, I've seen this topic repeatedly die and come
back to life like some undead monster. I think it's incredibly clear that a
degree helps considerably, but isn't a necessity. How many more electrons
have to die to make this point?

Emru Townsend
Technical Communication Warrior - Product Integration
Positron Public Safety Systems Inc.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
e-mail: etownsend -at- positron -dot- qc -dot- ca
My words are my own. Confuse them with my employer's at your own risk.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: SCN User [SMTP:alfa33 -at- SCN -dot- ORG]
> Sent: Friday, December 04, 1998 4:12 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Degree
> Suzette,
> Please don't take my response the wrong way, but surely you must be the
> exception to the rule in today's job market. Credentialism is everywhere.
> For _MOST_ people, an undergraduate degree is an absolute requirement to
> make the short list at the HR department. In fact, some sort of graduate
> degree is often required to make the cut.
> You've certainly done well for yourself, but I feel that it would be
> unfair to the fledglings out there if we were to look upon your
> particular situation as the norm.
> Sincerely,
> Bill

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