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Get a technical writing internship or on-the-job experience without having much time for it | I’d Rather Be Writing

See on Scoop.itM-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications

Danielle M. Villegas‘s insight:

I mostly agree with this article…mostly. Yes, there are ways to learn technical writing without the internship or job experience. I still found that getting an education was the best thing. The parent in this article was working full-time and was a busy parent, and couldn’t make it to classes. Neither could I. I was working a full-time, very stressful job, parenting a high-functioning autistic child, and being the den leader for my son’s Cub Scout group. And I still found time for classes. How? There are LOTS of online courses out there from accredited schools. There are both certificates on the undergrad and graduate level, and degrees on the undergrad, graduate and even doctoral level. Online courses can actually be good if you can make the time for them. For me, I worked on my classes at night after my son went to bed, and on the weekends. Sure, it meant that my husband had to pick up some of the parenting slack (and why wouldn’t he?), but he supported my efforts to go back to school while juggling all this other stuff, because he knew it would help me get ahead. The forum conversations were just as lively as in-person conversations, if not more so, and the workload was no different. What grad school–both the certificate I earned and the Master’s degree I earned–helped me realize where the gaps were missing in my technical writing education. Yes, over the years, I had picked up some skills due to various jobs, not knowing they were technical communication skills. But getting an online education also helped me get up to speed so that I could find a good entry level position and be more confident in my skills.  I agree that an e-portfolio is essential, and my studies helped me create viable samples for it. But I do feel that having a credential–even if it’s just a transcript showing that you took one tech writing course–helps to validate your experience and promote your skills. I just say this from experience. 



(PS–if you are looking for some schools that offer technical communication courses, look on the ID/TC Education tab on the TechCommGeekMom blog.)

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Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.

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