With the state of the economy, many undergraduate students have made the decision to make the most out of a tough job market and are choosing to advance their education. Auburn University
has a graduate school
with many areas of study available to students. For a student wanting to learn about technical writing, editing, document design, and web design, Auburn University’s English department
provides such an education.
Auburn’s Technical and Professional Communication master’s program
has existed since 2002 and has graduated more than 50 students. Out of those students, more than 90% have been employed directly after graduation. The program is designed to give students experience with the technical communication world.
“Largely you can think of technical communication as workplace communication” states Dr. Susan Youngblood.
Dr. Youngblood has been a professor in the MTPC program since 2008.
“The doors are wide open for either someone who has a minor in TPC or a master’s in TPC,” says Youngblood.
The MTPC program prepares students for possible positions as writers, web designers, editors, proposal specialists, among others in the growing field of technical communication.
The program itself is a 30 hour program in which students complete courses in a flexible sequence. The four required courses of the degree are Technical and Professional Editing, Document Design in Technical and Professional Communication, a special topics course, and an issues and approaches course. Students will also be able to select three elective courses of their choice in English.
The master’s program also requires three courses in a coordinated minor. Previous students have pursued minors in various departments including Communication Computer Science and Engineering, and Management Information Systems.
In addition to the program’s coursework, graduate students create academic portfolios, which are presented to an academic committee and any invited guests.
Prior to graduation students will also be required to complete an oral exam given by the same committee.
Dr. Youngblood states that CareerCast.com recently published a study which reported that out of the 200 best and worst jobs in the workforce, technical writer was listed thirteenth. “The career possiblilities are wide open.”
The Master of Technical and Professional Communication’s website
gives a detailed description of the courses offered to students as well as tips for developing a portfolio. The site also explains the requirements for admission and a description of the master’s program’s application process.
In regards to financial assistance, graduate teaching assistantships are provided to select students. Assistantships provide students with a nine-month salary as well as a tuition waiver. Assistantships are normally renewable dependent on academic success and teaching evaluations.
For more information, contact Dr. Isabelle Thompson, Coordinator of the MTPC program at 334-844-4339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.