Re: Spinoff of: Where did you get your feet wet

Subject: Re: Spinoff of: Where did you get your feet wet
From: lynchdl -at- comcast -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2005 18:40:50 +0000

I find it interesting that you would want to jump into technical writing without wanting to take any of the hard science classes, especially programming.

I actually chose technical writing for my degree in the 80's for two reasons: it allowed me to work in a field where I could learn all kinds of fascinating technology and I was able to get the same kind of salary that men got. I already had all the hard sciences under my belt (physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathmatics, etc.) and I had a strong aptitude for writing so studying technical writing and getting a BSTC was a small leap for me. At that time, programming wasn't a prereq so I didn't take programming classes but it is required now. I have since taken a ton of these classes, which have served me in good stead.

There are lots of English majors out there who are finding it difficult to find jobs and will take a tech writing job until they "get their dream job," whatever that may be. They get a lower rate because often (but not always), people with English majors will not have a firm footing in the sciences/engineering/technology and they will be paid accordingly, as you will. So I would say, you are at a disadvantage if you want to have the higher salary in technical writing and a more rapid advancement in your career. I would recommend that if you can, try to get a few techie classes under your belt.


> Hey, all,
> I read a few of the threads for "Where did you get
> your feet wet" and noticed that most TWers had
> experience in some sort of technical or scientific
> fields.
> I am a senior studying tech writing in New York, and
> my program is a spinoff of the liberal arts program at
> the school. The only scientific course I really have
> to take is chemistry. I've avoided the required C++
> course.
> I've taken mostly writng courses, and a few graphic
> design courses, a usability course and others from the
> required courses list. If I'm looking for a career in
> TWing, am I at a disadvantage if I don't have a
> footing in science/engineering/technology?
> Thanks,
> Anthony Hernandez
> Technical Writing Intern
> Fund for the City of New York


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