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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Technical Writing and Communication

Majors Overview February 5, 2015

Technical writers, also called technical communicators, turn technical information into simple, easy-to-read instructions. Students in bachelor’s degree programs will be prepared for careers in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and media companies.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Technical Writing and Communication

Students seeking enrollment in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Technical Writing can also choose from programs offered as technical writing and communication, or technical communication. Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Technical Writing program are provided with the design, technology, and communication skills they need for entry-level careers in the fields of scientific and technical communication. Some schools offer programs in both on-campus and online formats.

Students are taught about retrieving and evaluating information, responding to audiences, creating strategies for editing and revisions, working with current technologies, and formatting documents. In addition to classroom instruction, students may gain experience through internships.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Prerequisite courses in mathematics and computer science may also be required to be completed by students before they are admitted into the major.

Coursework

Apart from general education coursework, core coursework in business ethics, diversity, English, and information literacy may also have to be completed. General topic areas include the following:

•Technical writing software
•Online documentation
•Website design
•Technical writing and editing
•Document design
•Technology and information
•Graphic communication

Career Choices

Graduates are imparted the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed for designing and implementing websites, producing multimedia and printed material, and writing user manuals. Some graduates may opt for entry-level careers as technical researchers rather than writers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Technical writers can seek occupations in numerous fields, such as engineering, management, science, publishing, and technology. They may also choose from job titles such as:

•Engineering writer
•Information developer
•Documentation designer

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program may choose between entry-level careers or continuing education via a master’s degree in technical communication. Schools may offer a master’s degree program specifically in technical communication or may give it as a concentration within a master’s degree program in English. Apart from classroom instruction, these programs may typically include a research paper, thesis, or internship.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average growth rate of 20% has been predicted for Web designers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $62,500.

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