Who Benefits from Online Technical Writing Courses?
Freelance writing is a wonderful way of either earning a little extra cash or making an entrepreneurial living altogether. Unlike creative writers, who rely on their imagination and subject knowledge to craft articles and publications, technical writers digest technical information and schematics and turn them into plain English. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)(1) suggests that technical writers are essential for the preparation and editing of product documentation and manuals.
A would-be technical writer who graduates from online technical writing courses may look forward to employment in the fields of information technology, engineering, automotive prototype design, and also niche journalism. Not surprisingly, the BLS finds that technical writers in particular will have the best job prospects in the writing and editing field.
Is Everyone Cut Out to Become a Technical Writer?
Although there are no hard and fast prerequisites for those looking to enroll in technical writing online courses, a basic understanding of computers and word processing is a must. Moreover, a specific ability to digest and follow instructions to the letter is highly desirable. In his article entitled “Identifying Struggling Students in Online Learning,” Bright Hub’s own Jeimzu related a somewhat humorous anecdote of a technical writing student who risked class failure by not properly interpreting instructions.
For those writers who have the drive to succeed in technical writing and the ability to follow detailed instructions in meticulous detail, online technical writing courses are the right educational option.
What Online Technical Writing Courses Exist?
While there are a number of online technical writing courses, the budding technical writer will do well to look for big name educational institutions. For example, California State University at Dominguez Hills offers technical writing online courses that lead to a certificate in the subject. The coursework includes three classes on fundamental and advanced aspects of technical communication, as well as information design.
At the end of these online technical writing courses – usually within 27 weeks – the graduate is awarded a certificate of completion. As the school is affiliated with the California State University system, it is accredited by a number of governing bodies, including the Accrediting Commission for Secondary Colleges and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
In contrast, other online technical writing courses are faster to complete – such as the 12 week professional technical writing course from Online Learning. While it is less expensive than other courses, and it lists accreditation from Ohio University, it does not lead to a certificate of completion and is merely a mentored, not instructor led, class.