Are online, crowd-source help systems killing your future in technical writing?

Now that the Internet, user-generated content and mobile applications have become a ubiquitous part of technical support, does the future of technical writing as a career hang in the balance?

The Internet has radically transformed numerous industries, including travel agencies, print journalism and entertainment to name a few.

The rise of free and inexpensive support systems, the power of crowd-sourced content, and the demand for instant, personalized service is having a dramatic impact on the future of technical writing as a career choice.

According to, a now-defunct domain—bad omen?—one of the most competitive and lucrative fields of professional writing is becoming even more competitive. As the democratization of content creation expands the supply of technical writers simultaneous to an expansion in demand from organizations, new forms of technical writing are emerging. Organizations are embracing online communities, forums, commenting systems and social networks like never before to satisfy their growing technical content needs. And with the rapidly changing landscape, technical writers are uncertain about the future of their careers.

But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says not to worry. It forecasts the field of technical writing to grow 15% faster than the national average from 2012-2022, among the fastest-growing fields of writing it studies.

As both supply and demand for technical writers rise—and new forms of technical writing emerge—it is increasingly important for technical writers who want to remain atop their field to gain specialized competencies and advanced training and certification to stand out from their growing ranks and secure their future in the industry.

Technical writers, we want to hear from you. Is your company tech forward in its approach to delivering help, or are you still writing archaic, 100-page print manuals? Do you believe—like some journalists do—that your field is finally catching up to the online landscape? Are you confident in the future of technical writing as a viable career choice for upcoming college graduates? Are you confident in the future of technical writing as your career choice? Check out the graphic, then tell us what you think by commenting below or by tweeting us @stuffwriterslik.



November 18, 2014
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