Other Certifications?

I’ve read elsewhere that technical writers ought to get some other certifications under their belt – if only to show that they can learn many different things. It’s also great to show their expertise in something other than writing.

I know some writers who get certifications in the software they use – so they can show their expertise in the programs that we use. Or a general Microsoft certification – I know some writers who opted for that large certification. That’s great for some people, but I find that I use whatever method I can to get the job done – and it doesn’t always coincide with the “official” method, so I’d flunk the exam.

I also know some writers who get certified in their career area. It’s wherever they have landed and would like to stay – be it finance, HVAC, automotive, biotechnology, or whatever. Again, that’s great for people who want to remain in one area and specialize in it. I tend to go to wherever I can get a job, so I haven’t specialized in anything. I’m one of those people who know a little about a lot of things, and I like it that way.

I’m currently going for my CAPM certification – it’s like the PMP (Project Management certification) without the people experience. Granted, it’s an entry-level certification, but I figure – no better place to start than the bottom! And project management is something you can take wherever you go – no matter what area you decide to land in. I’ll keep you posted on how I do!

I’m wondering what certifications you think are necessary or desired? As usual, comments and opinions are always welcome!

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2 thoughts on “Other Certifications?

  1. I know in the MS world, there are different levels of certifications. A “Specialist” certification means you can use the tool in which you’re certified. So, basically, if you get the MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2010 certification, it means you can do all kinds of cool things in Word 2010 without spending 10 minutes clicking through the menus muttering about how you know that feature is around here somewhere and generally cursing that infernal ribbon while declaring at the top of your lungs that menus are far easier to use and that you really are beginning to think that even green screen would be better than this. Or maybe that’s just me, but the specialist certifications are designed to be fairly easy to pass if you actually live and work in MS tools more often than not. A good couple of weeks with the help documentation over and above your normal use should be sufficient for most people who do more than write stream of concious dumps into Word, or use Excel as a glorified list organizer. Just something to think about when looking into certs. Good luck with the CAPM exam!

    • Thanks for the comment!
      I remember when I went to take the DreamWeaver certification exam. I lived in DreamWeaver, and was the department “goto person” for all questions related to DreamWeaver. But when I took their cert exam, it was all about _their_ approved ways, which is not how I tend to do things. Do I know all of the keyboard shortcuts? No – I use my mouse. Which is why I’m wary about specific program certs.
      But maybe I’ll look into the MicroSoft ones. Hey – it can’t hurt!
      Thanks again,
      – Bridget

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