Becoming a Technical Communicator"Technical writers, also called technical communicators, produce instruction manuals and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information among customers, designers, and manufacturers." — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
Technical communication can be a lucrative career for those who enjoy both writing and technology. While jobs through 2020 are expected to grow at a rate slightly higher than the average for all occupations, the market is competitive.
A career in technical communication generally requires a bachelor's degree at minimum. However, employers also require specialized training, whether through an educational institution or experience on the job. Applicants must have a portfolio showing their work in the field.
If you don't have degree, seeking a bachelor's in technical communication may be your best path into the field. However, many practitioners start in other occupations and transition into technical communication. For those who have a bachelor's degree but no specialized training, a number of avenues into the field are available in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina.
Master's Degree ProgramsA master of science degree in technical communication is available from North Carolina State University. East Carolina University offers a master of arts degree in English with a concentration in technical and professional communication. The ECU program has a distance learning option.
Certificate ProgramsDuke University offers a certificate program in technical communication that runs from September–May. The faculty for the program includes several STC Carolina members.
East Carolina University also offers a certificate program in professional communication. It requires the completion of 5 courses from the technical and professional communication curriculum.
STC Educational OfferingsSTC offers a number of educational programs, some of them free to members.
- Live web seminars
- On-demand archived webinars (free to STC members)
- Online certificate courses
- Annual TechComm Summit
- Summit@aClick recordings from the annual conference
Free Online ResourcesA wealth of free information about technical communication is available online. Below are just some of the resources.
- How to Get a Technical Writing Job in 7 Steps
- STC Body of Knowledge
- Association of Technical Communicators
Social MediaMindTouch compiled a list of the 400 most influential technical communicators for 2011 (@STC_Carolina is ranked #104!). You can follow them on Twitter to keep up with the current trends in the field, through blog posts, articles, books, webinars, and networking opportunities.
STC Carolina is also active on social media. Join us, like us, follow us, or add us to your circles!
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