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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Technical Communications

Majors Overview February 6, 2015

Technical communications professionals are required to meet various documentation needs for technology-based organizations and businesses. These needs include the development of training materials, the creation of documentation management systems, and the creation of documentation for internal associates and clients.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Technical Communications

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in technical communications will be prepared to seek occupations as writers in a professional setting. Students also delve into the variations between writing for computer-based and print formats, including integrated systems within software programs apart from web sites and traditional print materials. They not only learn how to produce and edit content, but also become adept at developing, evaluating, and managing complex communication systems.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria may vary by school, but typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma aside from submitting a satisfactory SAT or ACT score. They may also be required to submit writing samples. They would benefit from possessing grammatical skills and an attention to detail, in addition to having a good grasp of technical systems.

Coursework

Coursework in technical communication programs is devised to teach students about ways of translating highly technical documentation into user-friendly information and may include the following topic areas:

•Software writing
•Online documentation
•Media writing
•Business writing
•Technical editing
•Proposal writing

Career Choices

There are various technical writing options available to graduates of the program. Skill sets required may vary by industry. Some technical communicators may seek specialization in areas such as engineering, computer software, or medical writing. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in technical writing or communication may usually choose from career options such as:

•Communications manager
•Information consultant
•Editor
•Technical writer
•Web designer

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, technical writers banked an average annual wage of $65,500 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). A job growth rate of 15% has been predicted for technical writers over the 2012 – 2022 decade.

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program may seek continuing education by earning a master’s or doctoral degree, whereby they can obtain specialized or higher-level skills. They can expect to become adept at writing and editing technically-specific and highly complicated documentation, often in an academic environment.

Currently, no commonly recognized certification options exist for technical communication professionals; however, they may opt for certifications in particular software tools.

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