Online Technical Writing Degrees

Technical communication bridges the gap between users and technology. Online technical writing degrees introduce you to the communication style, software and technical knowledge you need to produce effective technical documents.

What is technical writing?

Typically, technical writers document a technical or scientific product for an audience of non-specialists. They consult with subject matter experts such as engineers, scientists or software developers and determine the best way to communicate key information to their audience. Technical writers may specialize in a particular area such as health care, computers or engineering.

Technical writers produce a range of publications, including user documentation and technical help guides, operating instructions and manuals. Knowledge of a particular type of technology or programming language can be an asset for a technical writer; technical specialties in high demand include XML and JavaScript coding ability.

Online technical writing degree programs

Technical writing careers typically begin with a bachelor's degree. You may get your start with a degree in technical writing, English or communications, or transfer into the field with a college degree in another discipline. Online technical writing certificates are available for aspiring writers with technological savvy who lack formal training in either communications or writing.

Online technical writing degree programs generally offer qualifications at the undergraduate level, including certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees. Some universities offer a graduate certificate or master's degree in technical communication. In addition to training in writing and communication, online technical writing degrees may include instruction in multimedia programs, graphic design and Web design.

Career outlook and salary

Technical writers should see a strong job market, with faster than average job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 18 percent growth over the 2008-2018 decade. Technical writers earned a mean salary of $66,240 in 2010, according to the BLS. High-tech innovation centers like the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle feature higher salary averages of $80,000 and up.

Where is the field of technical writing headed?

Today's data-driven economy increasingly relies on skilled communicators to interpret and communicate information. Rapid technological advances and interactive media are fueling demand for technical writers, who are increasingly being asked to provide technical information in diverse formats. Tomorrow's best technical communicators may draw on images, words, animation and on-screen prompts to help users understand and make the most of a technology.

Technical Writing Schools

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