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

Subject: Re: TW and education (was Re: Houston Area Jobs)
From: Stephen Victor <svictor -at- HOUSTON -dot- GEOQUEST -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:19:06 -0600

Camille Krug wrote:

> My initial comments were addressed to persons who get into this field
> via shortcuts, with no education in any discipline. I am thinking of
> companies that promote a secretary into tech writing to save money they'd
> have to pay a professional, educated person. This diminishes our earning
> potential, not to mention the respect that many of us work hard to win.
> each other. But membership in a professional association does not a tech
> writer make.

At the risk of chiming in with a "me too," I must say that I agree
wholeheartedly with Camille's sentiments. Anyone who has been in our
profession for any length of time knows that it's rife with just the
sort of people Camille describes: people who have taken shortcuts to get
in, techies who think that speaking the English language qualifies them
to be technical writers, people who quite frankly couldn't write a piece
of clean prose to save their souls.

Are people who ask for standards of professionalism (whether degrees or
certificates) being elitist? I don't know (that wasn't a rhetorical
question); are we? The issue of standards is an important one that (I
think, along with Camille) has observable economic implications in the
workplace. Why do serious attempts to discuss it (on this list at any
rate) always turn into anguished attempts to preserve the status quo?

The STC has been formulating some sort of policy on certification for
some time now. Does anyone know the status of this project?

Quietly awaiting the flames,

Stephen P. Victor Phone: (713) 513-2552
Technical Writer, Software Training Fax: (713) 513-2019
Schlumberger GeoQuest svictor -at- houston -dot- geoquest -dot- slb -dot- com
5599 San Felipe, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056 USA

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