Re: TW and education (was Re: Houston Area Jobs)

Subject: Re: TW and education (was Re: Houston Area Jobs)
From: Robin McCloud <robin -at- WAYPT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 20:43:39 -0800

Jane Bergen sez -
Not too many companies that I've heard of are hiring high school grads for
accounting positions, no matter how good their "bookkeeping" grades were in
high school.
I don't think we have been transmitting or receiving on common ground here!

If you're talking about high school graduates becoming technical writers,
you are talking about people with few technical *OR* interpersonal skills
moving into a highly competitive market. I don't think most of them would
stand a chance with little training, education, or experience. I agree that
people should begin or augment their profession - whatever it is - with
education, preferably a degree, if they are to be successful in their

OTOH, there are many successful educated professionals with various degrees
who are being "downsized" from companies right now. Or maybe they are
burned out and want to move into another profession. The downsizing/burnout
reality is a growing concern in this country; these people are possibly
competing with college graduates. We as a profession should look at these
transitioning professionals because their "marketable" skills often merge
quite well into fields like technical writing.

*This* is the situation to which I was referring, unsuccessfully it seems.
I probably picked the wrong thread to needle!!! :)

There are quite a few technically-oriented talented professionals out there
who can write well. If they don't have a degree in technical writing, but
in engineering or management, who cares??? In a way, I think it's a great
benefit to technical writing as a whole, because we are getting some
professional variety in our midsts and gaining more credibility because of

As for the students coming up in the ranks now, you are right about them
needing more technical writing classes in their degree plans. I think that
there should be some sort of focus on technical writing, but I still don't
see it as a certification program or a complete degree, unless it is mixed
with some curriculum on subject matter, such as software programming,
industrial concerns, telephony, medical, aerospace, or some other new

Anyway, this is my .02 ... I know this subject comes up all the time on
this list, so I won't add any more!

Robin McCloud

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