Career advice for a former journalist turned tech writer

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JDallas in Tacoma, Washington

87 months ago


I'm a technical writer with four years experience creating help guides, support pages, and Web content.

My current contract is coming to an end in a few months, and
I need advice about how to advance my career. I've been a professional writer for almost 10 years, having worked in the newspaper industry before coming into high tech. I also have a Journalism degree and a technical writing certificate. However, many of the tech writing jobs in the Seattle area are looking for candidates with extensive programming/engineering backgrounds.

I would love advice from veteran tech writers about how I should proceed.

1. Is there still a market for non-engineers in tech writing? I'm wondering if this is a local or industry trend.

2. Do I need to pursue a computer science degree to remain competitive?

3. Can I still leverage my writing and editing experience as a major selling point, or are communication skills no longer as important as dev experience?

Your help is greatly appreciated. At this point, I'm seriously considering about whether I should stay in the field or not.

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Andrew in Bradford, United Kingdom

53 months ago

Hi there,

I see this is an old post so I wonder if i can turn it around. I am studying a degree in Journalism and I'm begging to realise that Journalism is not for me. Technical writing however is something that really interests me.

Can i ask you from your experience some questions like:

How do i go from Journalism to technical writing with no science or technical writing qualifications?

Is there a place for someone like me, with no additional qualifications and only a journalism degree in the technical writing industry?

Thanks a lot! Hope you can give me some tips and pointers!

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