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Technical writers put technical information into a logical, easy-to-understand format for businesses related to information technology. Usability studies, project management and team leadership are also a part of their responsibilities. Certificate, bachelor's degree and master's degree programs are available in the technical writing specialty.
When selecting a school for technical writing, a candidate should consider the level of education they wish to achieve, curriculum offered by the school and career outlook after graduation.
A certificate in professional writing program develops and improves skills vital for advancement in a writer's career. Several are offered entirely online and completed in a shorter time frame to accommodate the working professional. Some of the courses of study include writing, editing and design with a combination of theory and practice for real-life experience.
A bachelor's degree program generally requires general education credits, along with a high concentration in English and communications. Both a technical writing minor in undergraduate studies, or an English major with a technical writing concentration, are offered by many schools and desirable in the industry. Curriculum may include courses in rhetoric and composition, effective technical writing and basic English composition. Some colleges also offer essay contests with awards.
Graduate degree programs are available for those who already hold a bachelor's degree in a variety of backgrounds, such as computer science or psychology. Students may study ethics, computer documentation, science rhetoric, persuasive writing, visual design, technical editing and international communication. Internships and a thesis are a common part of master's degree programs in technical writing. Many schools offer their students job placement, resume development and career coaching after graduation.
Technical writers earned a median income of $61,620 and held about 48,900 jobs in 2008, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment is expected to grow 18% from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|University of Central Florida||50,121||4-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, Public|
|Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus||44,406||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|University of North Texas||34,830||4-year, Public|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||32,872||4-year, Public|
|George Mason University||30,613||4-year, Public|
|San Francisco State University||30,014||4-year, Public|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||29,105||4-year, Public|
|West Virginia University||28,840||4-year, Public|
|Texas Tech University||28,422||4-year, Public|
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||28,413||4-year, Public|
|East Carolina University||27,677||4-year, Public|
|Iowa State University||26,856||4-year, Public|
|Northeastern University||25,837||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Washington State University||25,352||4-year, Public|
|Auburn University - Main Campus||24,530||4-year, Public|
|University of Akron - Main Campus||24,119||4-year, Public|
|Northern Arizona University||22,502||4-year, Public|
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics