Re: STC Certification

Subject: Re: STC Certification
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 09:37:39 -0500

STC seems to have no impact on how anybody gets hired. It's helpful to avoid going through any HR department, because they don't know writing, don't know technology, and mostly try to match buzzwords. Maybe STC certification helps you get hired to teach Technical Communication and write expensive textbooks.

Last time I looked for a position I was inappropriate for the job because I have too much experience for the low pay they offered, but also lack the five or more years in their niche industry that they required.

I got my current position because I ran a monstrous spark-gap tesla coil at a museum in one of my first jobs out of college, and because I once helped a Chinese physicist rewrite an academic paper on lightning.

On Thu, 11 Feb 2016 09:12:54 -0500, Daniel Friedman <daniel -dot- friedman42 -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

I feel like this thread has gone extremely negative on the STC
certification. It would be nice to present what you guys think are some
good alternatives for someone new to the technical writing field or someone looking to make an upwards career move.

FWIW, I think the main problem with the STC certification is that it is a
general technical writing certificate, when most employers are looking for someone with (at least some) domain-specific knowledge.

Someone starting out would probably be better served spending their time
building portfolio pieces through school or by volunteering time to a
non-profit or open-source projects on github.

If certification was to be pursued, it might be better to go for certs in
specific subject-domains relevant to the industries that you are trying to
break into. For example, in IT it would show a good baseline of knowledge
to get the COMPTIA A+ or the entry level Microsoft MCSE: Desktop
Infastructure cert. I am not familiar with other industries, but I am sure there are similar courses/certifications for

On Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 8:26 AM, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com> wrote:

It means that to be a technical writer, you need to be able to write; but to be a technical communicator, all you need is a certificate.
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