A range of educational options are available to aspiring technical writers, including associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and certificates. An individual aspiring to a career in technical writing and entry-level business communications would benefit by enrolling in a technical writing associate degree program.
Technical Writing Associate Degree Program
Those enrolled in technical writing programs may be awarded an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Art (A.A.) degree; these are also referred to as technical communications programs. Style and writing competency are the focus of technical writing degree programs that also highlight document design, visual representation and graphic design in their coursework devised to give students the skills needed to serve a wide range of needs of business communication.
The primary focus of the coursework is on writing-specific areas, and students are imparted instruction in the use of computer programs relevant to their need. Students can also expect to become adept at designing, writing, editing and publishing of documents, such as website content, grants, technical or instruction manuals, business correspondence, reports, and proposals. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.
Most degree programs require the creation of a portfolio to showcase writing proficiency in a range of technical compositions. To create this collection and acquire publishing, design, and writing skills, students can take courses that cover:
•Graphics for technical documents
•Editing technical documents
•Visual design and communications
Technical writers are employed in many business industries and categories, but they may be especially valuable to corporations that require communication of complex information to various non-technical audiences and consumer. Technical writers can work with industry specialists, including development and research scientists, computer developers or programmers, engineers, and health and medical experts to write copy and content. Technical writers’ career options may include the following:
•Contract and freelance writers
Continuing Education Information
Professionals already employed in the field of technical writing may be sufficiently served in improving their design and writing skills by completing an associate degree program. However, employers of technical writers are said to prefer those holding bachelor’s degrees in a communications major, along with having work experience in computer and graphic design (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov)). Aspiring technical writers can use their credits earned in an associate degree program to transfer to a four-year bachelor degree program in communications, English, technical writing, or other related field in order to enhance their employment prospects (BLS).