Changes in the economy often mean unexpected layoffs and situations that prompt one to think of a career change. Technical communication is a profession that allows you to leverage your prior background and training into a new career.
No matter what industry you worked in, you can take those skills and reapply them in a new way, by becoming a technical writer, a usability specialist, a content provider, or an instructional designer.
Has the market for bakers shrunk? Consider the equipment used by professional bakers, and others in the food service industry. It all needs documentation. Manufacturers of food service and restaurant equipment need website content, interface advice, and even training materials.
With existing knowledge of any field, you can transition easily into a new career writing and developing information about that industry.
Technical communication relies on skills that involve plain language and procedural writing, researching, interviewing, audience analysis, and project management. Good communication skills are necessary, but do not have to be Governor General’s Award-winning calibre. It is sufficient to be able to write clearly, concisely, logically, and appropriately. It is more important to target information correctly for the audience than select a poetic turn of phrase.
The writing and facility with technology can be taught. Seneca’s 1-year program in Technical Communication teaches the basic skills, tools, and approaches needed by technical communicators. The certificate you receive upon graduation from the program indicates to employers that you have the processes, skills and understanding to communicate complex, technical information to a range of audiences, no matter what the industry.
In good times or in bad, communication is always required, and practitioners who know how to get a message across to the target audience are always valued.