Learning to Become a South Dakota Technical Writer

South Dakota residents who are interested in pursuing careers as technical writers will be glad to know that there are lots of great educational opportunities available in the state. There are so many choices, in fact, that the hardest part should not be finding an opportunity, but just determining which one is the right fit for you and your unique career and personal goals. The good thing is that there are lots of different paths you can take to become a technical writer, so you donít have to worry too much if your path doesnít look like someone elseís.

south dakota technical writing schools

Before you can map out a path, though, you, of course, have to have a clear idea of what your career goals are. If you are like most people, you are probably eager and in a hurry to make a decision and start planning for your life as a technical writer. Don’t rush this part of the process, though, because doing so can be a huge mistake. You might miss out on the career you really want or end up with a job that you aren’t really cut out for at all, making work dreadful.

To keep this from happening to you and to avoid wasting your time and money, take the time now to do a little research. Learn all you can about the technical writing field and the different jobs in it. If at all possible, talk to other professionals in the field. It may be awkward at first, but it only takes a few seconds of your time to send an email or make a phone call to a technical writer you admire. Most are more than happy to answer questions, make suggestions, and provide genera l advice. You might even try to arrange a job shadowing or internship opportunity for an even more realistic idea of what life as a technical writer is like.

Your experience with research should help you greatly in setting career goals. You will, if you research carefully and thoroughly, be exposed to a wide range of different career options in the technical writing field. You can also learn, firsthand, what it takes to have certain technical writing careers. This should help you to set and then to accurately plan for some very attainable career goals. Remember, the more careful and thorough you are now, while researching, the more likely it is you will end up in a job that you love and truly enjoy doing.

Once those career goals are firmly in place, you are ready to start planning for and pursuing your education. You might choose to earn an associate’s degree, which typically takes around two years and is most commonly earned from a community college or a trade or technical school; a bachelor’s degree, which takes around four years to complete or two if you previously earned an associate’s degree; a master’s degree, which takes an average of one to three years and requires previous bachelor’s degree, not necessarily related; or even a doctoral degree, which can take as long as seven years to complete, depending upon how much time you have to devote to your studies, and requires a previous master’s degree, not necessarily related.

Your degree, no matter what level, can be in technical writing, also sometimes referred to in the educational system as professional writing, or in the content area for which you wish to write. Common major choices for technical writers include engineering, mathematics, science – especially chemistry and biology, English, medical studies, pharmacology, anything related to computers, and many others.

Think about how you want to earn your degree too; there are many choices. Community colleges tend to be great for those on a budget and /or those who have to balance their schooling with work and/or family responsibilities. The same is true for online schools; just make sure you find one that is fully accredited. Traditional colleges and universities work for many as well. The key is simply to find an institution that can provide you with every opportunity for success in the technical writing field but that also realistically works with your lifestyle and professional goals.

Schools offering online and campus-based education programs in South Dakota:




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Regent University
Online Programs:   Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing