Date of Award

Fall 2002

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Nancy Coppola

Second Advisor

Norbert Elliot

Third Advisor

Nancy Steffen-Fluhr

Abstract

Technical communication, "the process of gathering information from experts and presenting it to an audience in a clear, easily understandable form," (Society for Technical Communication) has grown more popular in the last decade, even as an academic discipline (Staples and Omatowski xi).

The growth of the technical communication profession has led to an increase in skill requirements needed to obtain a position as a practitioner.

This study, using Glaser and Strauss' Grounded-Theory approach, identified the requirements of today's technical communication job candidates by examining recent technical communication job advertisements in ten of the top newspapers in the United States. The four major categories of requirements for examination are experience, education background, hardware/software skills, and knowledge about general job skills.

Results from the study show that the experience requirement was found in 69.6% of the advertisements, the general job knowledge requirement was found in 50.4% of the advertisements, the hardware/software skill requirement was found in 47.59% of the advertisements, and education was only found in 37% of the advertisements.

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