Starting your career as a Technical Writer

Hello again!! Like promised in my last post, here I am blogging again about, how to start of your career as a Technical Writer.

For you to start a career in Technical writing it is necessary that you have a grasp over Queen’s language, understand the fundamentals of technical writing and have knowledge of certain computer software’s like MS Word or Adobe FrameMaker that Technical writers commonly use. For starters this is good enough. And by the way, it is somewhat mandatory for you to have a degree in any discipline since this is the basic prerequisite that most of the companies look for before hiring.

So from the above paragraph you can infer that for you to be a Technical Writer-you should be a graduate with good communication skills, who understands the concept of technical writing with knowledge of software’s that technical writers use.

You being a graduate and having good communication skill is something that you either have or you don’t. So I will not be getting into the details of these aspects. I will however discuss where you can gain knowledge of technical writing fundamentals as well as develop proficiency in software like MS Word or Adobe FrameMaker. There are various ways by which you can achieve this. Below are some among them.

Join a university or college that offers technical writing course or a degree program

There are various colleges in the United States that offer these courses but unfortunately this is not the case in various other countries. Of late many countries have started offering technical writing programs but still it is in the rudimentary stages. In India only Symbiosis institute offers PG Diploma course in technical writing however this is a distance education program. Here is the link if you are interested to know more http://www.scdl.net/scdl/ProgramPGDTW.aspx.Since the number of schools offering technical writing programs are changing frequently, providing a list of them here would soon cause this page to become out of date .To find out about the technical writing schools in your locality  use Google.

Join a private institute that offers technical writing course

If technical writing program is not available in any schools or universities, you would have to join a private institute that offers this program. Again I would suggest you to Google for institutes that provide this program in your area. If, you are in Bangalore than I recommend TechnoPoint which is located in Indiranagar. Here is their website http://www.technopointindia.net/

Learn from Technical writers who take classes in their spare time

There are various Technical writers available who actually teach the art of technical writing during weekend. Use Google or popular ad posting websites to know if there are technical writers who offer training services in your area.

You can always learn from vast resources available on the internet

If none of the above options are viable then you can turn to the World Wide Web to be your trainer. There various websites, blogs that apart from sharing knowledge also helps you keep track all the current news in the technical writing world. I advise that you join their mailing list to keep yourself updated. Here are some of the useful websites out there that focuses on technical writing.

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2 thoughts on “Starting your career as a Technical Writer

  1. Devershi says:

    Good article.

  2. Vibha says:

    Hi Pradeep,

    Thanks for sharing your insight of career as a technical writer .
    I have around 8 yrs of experience in the IT industry (last worked as a Project Lead) and have a degree in B.E. Computers.
    I have been on a break for the past couple of years now and am a stay-at-home-Mom now.
    I have very recently come to know of the technical writing field and have been contemplating venturing into this field .

    I have the below questions –
    a. I have heard that flexible hours is possible in this field. Is this correct ?

    b. I live in Pune, and was thinking on joining a Technical Writing course offered by ‘TechnoWrites’. Through your blog I have found out about the distance learning course offered by Symbiosis. Kindly guide me as to which would be a better option since Iam not working currently.

    c. Will doing any of the above courses be enough to jumpstart my career as a technical writer or to start freelancing ?

    d.
    Also will my past 8 yrs of IT experience be of any relevance in the Technical Writing field or will it be like starting from scratch ?

    Would highly appreciate if you could spare some time to clarify my doubts.

    Thanks .

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