The operating instructions for your new laptop. The Frequently Asked Questions section on a company’s website. The how-to manual for your camera. These texts are all written by technical writers. It is a job that requires clear and concise communication, knowledge of a variety of multimedia platforms, and standard tools for accessing, retrieving, and evaluating information. Through a bachelor’s degree in technical communication, students can learn these necessary skills and train to enter this growing profession and how to produce and design information.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
If you’re interested in working as a technical writer or communicator, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in subjects like communications, English, or journalism. Therefore, a technical communication degree can get you the qualifications you need. And earning it online gives you added flexibility and freedom, especially if you’re working full-time or don’t have a program near you.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Application requirements for online technical communication degree programs vary by school. But here are some qualifications and materials generally needed:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- SAT or ACT score
- Letters of recommendation
Inside a Technical Communication Bachelor’s Degree Program
A bachelor’s degree in technical communication takes about four years to complete. This may be shorter if you already have an associate’s degree in a liberal arts discipline. Courses would consist of general liberal arts requirements, as well as training in producing and managing content. You might learn how to develop strategies for drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading copy; work in a range of digital environments; and access information. Courses in a specialized field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine, may also be beneficial.
Given their emphasis on written communication, technical communication programs are uniquely suited for online learning. The format of your online courses will vary by school. In one model, you might have to log in at certain times to attend live lectures or chats. In another, you can access course materials at your own convenience. And still, hybrid courses would consist of a mix of both online and on-campus programs. Knowing the differences can help you find the best program that works for your needs and preferred learning method.
What’s Next for Technical Communication Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Once you graduate from a bachelor’s degree program in technical communication, you are prepared for a career as a technical writer or communicator, helping consumers understand and use technology and other products. Technical writers are primarily employed by software and electronics companies, as well as media corporations, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. They write in-house publications, reports, service manuals, and more. Employment prospects are promising. According to the BLS, employment of technical writers is expected to grow by 17% from 2010 to 2020, fueled by the expansion of scientific and technical products and web-based product support. The strongest growth is anticipated in professional, scientific, and technical services firms.