How High School and College Students Should Prepare For a Career in Technical Writing?

Are you a high school student planning to become a technical writer? Then first of all pay attention to your science classes. Work as hard as you can on your math, physics, chemistry, computer, biology/life science classes since you need to have good foundation in those subjects.

Secondly, learn your English and composition well. Writing in a clear language and the ability to express complex topics in a simple manner is a must for a technical writer. Creative writing may seem like something that has nothing to do with technical writing. But take a class or two in creative writing since it will help you organize your thoughts and teach you how to express them in an effective manner.

Once you graduate from high school, the obvious choice should be to attend a college with a four year technical writing curriculum and B.A. program. The Oklahoma State University immediately comes to mind which has an M.A. and Ph.D. program in technical writing as well. But there are others as well. Just search for them on the Internet with the keywords “Bachelors in technical writing.”

But if a 4-year program is not possible, you may trying enrolling for a 2- or 4-year science degree and enroll in a “Technical Writing Certificate Program” on the side. Some students enroll in English department and go for a B.A. in English with specialization in Technical Writing, which is also an excellent career choice. Whether you enroll in a physical science, English, journalism, mass communications, or social science department, make sure you get enough electives in math, science and computer engineering to learn the basic bed-rock scientific principles, concepts, and terminology. They’ll come in very handy in the later years when you start writing technical documents.

Once you graduate from college with a Bachelor’s or two-year Associate degree, you can always enhance your skills through graduate-level certificate programs, online correspondence courses and individual tutoring. For a technical writer learning never stops.


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