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This month started off with someone on the list requesting advice for her
relative to enter our field. Besides the reasonable responses filled with
good tips, there appeared a few who told the dear soul to "forget it."
Cited were the old argument that one needs a *technical writing* degree to
enter our hallowed profession <HA!>
My wife and I are both technical writers. She writes for computer software
& telephony concerns. My focus is writing for industry (Power Gen.,
Petro-chem, Pulp & Paper). Neither my wife or I hold degrees in "technical
writing". Our educational background and experience is much fuller than
the degree/training cert. called "technical writing". Has the fact we
don't hold "technical writing" degrees made a difference on our careers?
The answer is... no. Better said... HELL NO. We've both succeeded quite
Is this subject new to us? Nope. It falls under the worn out title of
(shall I say it?) ===>Certification ((((yawn)))).
What bothers me is a few folk on this list (perhaps they are junior
writers/editors fresh out of school? I dunno) attacking another individual
who is trying to help her relative's career change/focus. I agree with
Robin McCloud's statement on "pomposity." Perhaps another way of looking
at it is... "naiveté."
Only a naive person would discount backgrounds richly diverse in
experience, training & education.
So for me, I say to the aspiring Technical Writer... "Go for it". You may
find a position that will easily work you into the field successfully.
As for the techwr-l degree/certification proponents... Shave your heads,
grab your finger bells and chant technical mantras that fall upon our deaf
Guy McDonald /guy -at- waypt -dot- com
Leland Technical & Associates