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Top 5 Courses for Technical Writers

by ClickHelp — professional help authoring tool

Currently, many content writers are facing the problem of being very limited in choosing the fields where they can apply their skills. These are usually the fields of marketing, PR, GR, advertising, media relations, etc. It means that a content writer is often a copywriter working in the field of the so-called social sciences.

The problem is that this field only seems to be vast. In fact, it is very compact, and this is why it is often hard to find a job as a copywriter in government relations, for example. Another thing is that this field can be described as a fully developed one. The era of its dynamic growth is already over, and this segment of copywriting market is not expanding anymore.

This is why so many writers have turned to the technical field in search of new jobs. Here, the situation is the opposite. In fact, we are witnessing a boom in this segment of copywriting market.

The most dynamic fields here are IT, online markets, and EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction). The demand for content writers in this field is growing daily. However, writing in these areas requires special technical writing skills.

General knowledge of the topic may be sufficient for copywriting in PR or marketing. Still, if you are going to write about new trends in lighting or fencing at construction sites, materials used for flange spacers, or TCP/IP protocols, your knowledge has to be very specialized. You have to understand not only the terminology but the essence of the processes you describe.

Moreover, you must speak the language (or even slang) the professionals in this field use. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get your message across.

All this can make technical writing a challenge for a beginner, but if you choose this road, you can discover a real terra nova full of new career growth and self-improvement opportunities. As a result, you will become more competitive as a professional, and your CV will be clicked on more often.

This is why technical writing education has become so popular today. Beginners usually look for quick-start courses, while experienced content writers look for new ways to continue their education. In this blog, we share a list of technical writing courses for professionals that can help you start a new career.

Course 1. Technical Writing: A Quick Start to Software Documentation

The first technical writing course on the list can serve as a quick start guide. It provides the learner with a “quick and direct overview of the end-to-end processes for writing software documentation.”

Although the course duration is just 1 hour and 12 minutes, it provides the students with a basic understanding of what technical writing in the field of software documentation is. It covers the main types of deliverables (finished products or documents) usually issued in IT (the software documentation itself, images, videos, and multimedia).

The course is authored by the JPDocu School of Technical Writing, specializing in designing, training, and user assistance. The target audience of the course can be divided into three groups: technical writers (information developers), information architects, and software developers.

The course is made up of 18 lectures providing brief overviews of such issues as:

  • Types of Documentation (duration 01:03) — helps to ‘find one’s way’ in the multitude of documentation types.
  • Strategy for Writing Functional Documentation (duration 04:06) — this is one of the several ‘how to’ sections of the course which makes its content practical.
  • Technical Writers in Development Team (duration 02:16) — describes the role and place of a tech writer in the team and their possible ways of cooperation with other employees.

These are just some examples of technical writing classes. For more detailed information, click here.

Cost: Free.

Duration: 1 hour 12 minutes.

Course 2. Technical Writing: The Writing Process

This course was developed by SkillShare, an online portal of training courses aimed at developing creative skills. The course is a bit longer than the previous one and is targeted at those who have a basic knowledge of technical writing and would like to move forward and improve their skills.

The course is focused on such issues as planning and structuring, collecting and organizing information, and, finally, writing and editing the material. The feature that makes this course practical is a writing task that is given at the end of the lecture.

Cost: Free (only within a 7-day trial period).

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Enroll here.

Course 3. English Communication for Tech Professionals

The third course we recommend is presented by Coursera, an online bank of training courses developed by leading universities.

This course is from Arizona State University in cooperation with English4IT, making it relevant for content writers who specialize in this field.

The course can be taken asynchronously so that you can design and follow your own schedule. This is important if your time zone differs from the educators’. After completing the course, writing certifications are provided, which students can share online or add to their CVs or LinkedIn profiles (to learn more about certification for tech writers, click here).

Below are just some of the skills you will acquire after completing the course:

  • Enlarge your vocabulary with 30 new words and phrases from each module.
  • Have ready-made templates for everyday correspondence and meetings (this is vital for writing MoMs and memos).
  • Create a professional CV in English.

Cost: Free.

Duration: 73 hours.

Enroll here.

Course 4. Effective Technical Writing

This course is positioned as a workshop which means a maximum of practice. Developed by Phoenix One Knowledge Solutions, the course is a 2-day training, where students learn how to write a technical document that will be effective for a specific target audience. They will learn to follow the main rule of technical writing: produce clear, concise, and user-friendly documents.

The course is targeted at a wide audience. It will be useful not only for tech writers but also for information technology managers, training specialists, publications managers, project managers who are responsible for the information support strategy of the product, etc.

Cost: Available upon request.

Duration: 16 hours (2-day training).

Enroll here.

Course 5. Technical Writing One and Two

The first module of this course ( Technical Writing One) catches the eye with a text-based agenda. It offers to teach the students to convert passive voice to active voice, use bulleted and number lists properly, structurize large documents, write drafts, as well as solve many other problems technical writers face every day.

Another feature that makes the course special is that it covers both the field of software engineering and engineering-adjacent roles, such as the support team (help system).

Created by Google Developers, the course encompasses the fundamentals of technical writing, like recognizing pesky pronouns, converting passive voice to active voice, understanding the difference between bulleted and number lists, etc.

Technical Writing Two is a follow-up course. It gives more advanced information like organizing large documents and writing clear figure captions.

These two courses can be positioned as advanced as they require writing proficiency in English.

Cost: Free.

Duration: 2 hours approx. for Technical Writing One and 43 min. for Technical Writing Two.

Attend a virtual live session here.

Conclusion

Technical writing skills can become a competitive edge in your CV or LinkedIn profile. Try one of the courses above and discover the field of technical communication. You will learn new terms, get acquainted with new types of documents and their structure, get an overview of a new field of knowledge, learn a new language of technical communication, and improve your writing skills.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

Originally published at https://clickhelp.com.

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ClickHelp - online documentation tool for technical writers and teams. Check it out: https://clickhelp.com/