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Reasons to Study Professional Writing and Communication

In today's uncertain economy, it is more important than ever to be multi-skilled and flexible in your professional areas. Our Certificate program combines an innovative curriculum with practical skills in writing, research, communication, and technologies that will enable you to work in a broad range of contexts.

Online courses offer flexibility
Distance learning is easy with this graduate certificate at UWM. Students are able to attend classes on their own schedule, while keeping up with other work and family commitments. Studying at UWM in the Professional Writing and Communication Certificate can lead to many new opportunities. Our faculty is nationally known, publish award-winning research, and are dedicated to creating learning environments that work for students. The online curriculum allows flexibility and independence, so that you can work from your home and other locations anytime, night or day.

Increased demand for writing and communication skills
Even in a tough economy the demand for professionals with good writing and communication skills grows daily. The Society for Technical Communication (STC), the largest such professional association with over 22,000 members, reports that:

Technical communication is now one of the fastest growing professions, with a variety of career options. Technical communicators are writers, editors, artists, managers, educators, and video specialists employed in every industry, from automobiles to computers to finance. (Source:

While the economic downturn has affected nearly every field, the professional writing field has continued to grow, and is expected to remain on the trajectory for decades to come. Recent studies have shown that while many professions are suffering, the field of professional writing continues to grow. According to College Board, "government economists, jobs for technical writers should grow faster than the average for all careers through 2018. Scientific discoveries, progress in technology and electronics, and changes in the law all create a need for people who can explain new ideas and procedures to a general audience." College Board also quotes recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in "estimating that technical writers earned an average yearly salary of $65,610 in 2009."

Job Security
Technical communicators have reported excellent job security, and their positions are rarely cut since the demand for what they do rarely diminishes. When a company discovers that it has hired a good writer and communicator, they hold onto that person, since these skills are hard to replace and grow in value as the employee becomes familiar with the company's documentation, products, and communication systems. Job security for technical writers and communicators looks good well into the future.

Rewarding Work and Personal Growth Opportunities
Professional writers and communicators report rewarding experience at their jobs: they often see their manuals, Web pages, courses, brochures, and other work promoted and used by customers and employees. Working on project teams with technical specialists, analysts, system developers, content experts, marketing managers, graphic designers, and many other professionals enables them to share valued ideas and expertise. They often have opportunities to learn new systems, train users, present new products to clients, and conduct on-site usability studies, getting to see exactly how others use products and documentation in the field.

By learning new skills and in developing new areas of expertise, professional communicators increase their ability to change careers, move into management positions, and start their own freelance writing and consulting businesses.

Companies Often Pay for Your Tuition
Since you will be learning new technologies and communication skills, companies will often pay for part or all of your tuition fees through their employee development programs.

Variety in job opportunities
Good writing, editing, and communication are needed in nearly every profession. Here are just a few job titles in professional writing and communication:

Technical writer Technical communicator
Technical editor Communication dept head
Documentation specialist     Usability specialist
Documentation manager User Liaison
Information developer Web designer
Knowledge manager Technical illustrator
Training specialist Technical translator
Training manager Business analyst

Working in any one of these areas can open up growth opportunities in related areas, so that technical writers often become programmers, managers, trainers, business analysts, sales representatives, free-lance writers, or technical consultants.

Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing and Communication
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Last Updated: June, 2011
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