In an undergraduate program for communication and technical writing, students explore the differences between writing for print and for computer-based formats, which may include traditional print materials, websites, and integrated systems within software programs. In addition to producing and editing content, graduates learn to develop, evaluate, and manage complex communication systems.
Applicants to these programs need a high school diploma and satisfactory scores on the ACT or SAT. Typically, if students are enrolled full-time, these programs can be completed in four years. Graduates may go on to pursue master's or doctoral degrees in the field.
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Bachelor of Science in Communication and Technical Writing
The curriculum for a bachelor's degree in communication and technical writing prepares students to understand a wide range of documentation needs for technology-based businesses and organizations, including the creation of documentation for clients and internal associates, the development of training materials, and the creation of documentation management systems. Students learn to translate highly technical, detail-oriented information into user-friendly documentation, hone their grammatical skills, and gain the ability to comprehend technical systems. Courses may include:
- Business writing
- Media writing
- Online documentation
- Software writing
- Proposal writing
- Technical editing
Popular Career Options
Technical writing options are varied and different industries may require different skill sets. Some technical communicators may specialize in areas such as medical, computer software, or engineering writing. Specific common careers for graduates with a bachelor's degree in technical writing and communication may include:
- Technical writer
- Communications manager
- Web designer
- Information consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Technical writers earned a median salary of $70,240 as of May 2015, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted that job openings for technical writers would increase by 10% from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Technical communication professionals may wish to pursue a master's degree or doctoral degree to obtain higher-level or more specialized skills. These degrees prepare graduates to write and edit highly complex and technically-specific documentation, often within an academic setting. There are no commonly recognized certification options for technical communication professionals at the current time, although some may choose to obtain certifications in specific software tools.
Students who are interested in communication and passionate about writing may combine the two disciplines to earn a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Technical Writing. Graduates of the program can pursue graduate degrees or work as technical writers, where the job market is expected to grow.