Re: Certification/Degrees

Subject: Re: Certification/Degrees
From: Beth Mazur <mazur -at- MAYA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 15:36:41 -0500

At 3:02 PM 12/11/96 -0500, Tim Altom wrote:

>Part of this is our fault, to be frank. We don't have a profession, because
>a profession implies a commonly-accepted set of standards that must be met
>before the title can be truthfully applied.

Nor do most software engineers (we once hired one with a degree in
medieval mythology who is now working at Bellcore) or most management
types. I don't know that I believe that being a technical communicator is
more like being an accountant or nurse than it is being a programmer or
a project manager.

Actually, I think that a large part of the problem is the nature of what
we do...something that at first glance looks like the basic stuff that kids
are taught to do when they are six years old.

Contrast this to art, which traditionally is the province only of the
"gifted." (See "Visual Literacy: A Primer" by Donis A. Dondis for an
interesting discussion of this.)

Viewed this way, it isn't clear to me that certification addresses the basic
problem...which is that some people view what we do as the province of the
average educated high schooler.

Beth Mazur
mazur -at- maya -dot- com

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