Certification/Labor Shortages

Subject: Certification/Labor Shortages
From: David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 11:42:05 -0600

Certification? Are you kidding? There is a drastic labor shortage of
technical writers. Do we really want to limit access to the profession
when there aren't enough of us to go around already? Lawyers and doctors
abound. There are many more applicants each year than there are places
in medical and law schools. Access to these professions has to be
limited, not to ours.

I think the main effect of certification is to limit competition. I hire
tech writers all the time. Credentials are no guarantee that a person
will do a good job. I'll take a spark in the eye, a can-do attitude, and
some technical and writing skills over credentials any day.

An academic friend of mine who promotes certification (her school would
be a certifying agency) said to me once, "You must believe in
credentials, you wouldn't hire someone as a tech writer who didn't have
a college degree, would you?" I answered, "I would, and I have."
M. David Orr
Orr & Associates/Usability Management
7366 N. Lincoln Ave. Suite 101
Lincolnwood, IL 60646
mailto:whitears -at- orrnet -dot- com

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