POV on Certification

Subject: POV on Certification
From: "Adams, John C" <jca18394 -at- GLAXOWELLCOME -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 13:09:41 -0500

Colleagues -
I think that most of the opinions you've shared presuppose that the value of
certification is something to weigh along with other qualifications in an
interview or search process. I would like to offer another point of view.

I can't tell you how many times in the past 9 years, about the length of
time that I have been a Technical Communicator, that people who have no
earthly notion what it is I do, tell me that they are thinking of becoming a
Technical Writer. They are NOT interested in pursuing a degree, or if
possible, certification. They are merely thinking about changing jobs,
somewhat as if I suddenly decided, without any academic or professional
preparation, that I want to be a rocket scientist. Certification could lend
another level of professionalism to a profession that is seriously
undervalued, whether or not an interviewer might weigh it as an equal
against writing samples, for instance.

Some non-technical communicators apparently feel that technical writing is
simply another form of writing, technically, with all the creativity and
freshness that other kinds of writing afford. I can't enumerate here the
myriad differences between technical communication and creative writing. A
certification process could help to clarify the difference.
John Adams
Technical Communications & Design Specialist
Corporate & Finance IS
Glaxo Wellcome Inc.

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