ERIC Number: ED345799
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Technical Writing Needs Assessment.
Oakland Community Coll., Farmington, MI. Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis.
In fall 1991, a study was conducted by Oakland Community College (OCC) to evaluate the need for a proposed Technical Writing program. General information was gathered from a literature review, Michigan Occupational Information System data, interviews with professionals in the field, and a 1987 needs assessment conducted by Washtenaw Community College (WCC), located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition, 21 local businesses employing technical writers were surveyed, yielding a 76% response rate. Data were analyzed by frequency distributions and narrative response content analysis. Highlighted findings included the following: (1) in 1985, 650 technical writers were employed in Michigan; (2) 61.9% of the survey respondents were currently hiring technical writers; (3) respondents unanimously agreed that there was a growing need for technical writers; (4) annual salary ranges for entry-level technical writers were between $23,232 and $42,857; (5) 60% to 70% of respondents preferred employees to have prior related work experience (in engineering), prior technical writing experience, or a bachelor's degree in English, Journalism, Communications or a specialized technical field; (6) given that the technical writing field encompassed a broad spectrum of diverse markets, the proposed program should allow for a variety of specialization areas; (7) the associate degree was seen as a minimal entry requirement, with a bachelor's degree necessary for any significant advancement; and (8) demand for technical writers in southeastern Michigan was in the automobile, manufacturing and computer information sectors. Appendixes provide an outline of the curriculum for the proposed program, and survey instruments and responses for both WCC and OCC. (JSP)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Oakland Community Coll., Farmington, MI. Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis.