By Jordyn Sessoms & Daniel Maddux
This article addresses the the value and benefits of the Society for Technical Communications (STC). Individuals who are interested in accessing the “best-in-class” technical communication education, resources, and services can highly benefit by joining STC. To benefit fully from the employment, educational, and networking opportunities that STC membership provides, students, professionals, and organizations should consider becoming members.
Jobs and employees
STC is a great place to form connections, and potentially land a new gig. It’s also a great place to find high-quality employees if you’re hiring.
Daniel: However, in my experience, job-seekers, and employee-seekers, don’t make up the majority of attendees at most STC events. They are just part of a professionally diverse community. Most members simply enjoy learning and networking throughout their time with a particular employer.
One of the chief benefits STC provides is the chance to take advantage of educational opportunities. Members can join chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to build lifelong relationships and access the global community. These groups hold regular meetings, which are usually open to the public, at which you can stay up to date on the newest trends and tools. Members can join by either geographical location or by area of interest. You can also access live webinars, online certification courses, and publications such as the Intercom and Technical Communication.
The STC offers numerous online certification courses. The STC currently provides six continuing education units. The length of the courses can vary and take up to several weeks to complete. The idea with certification is that you can show your dedication and legitimacy to employers, and thereby differentiate yourself when seeking a job. These offerings can also be useful as a means of keeping one’s skills sharp.
One of the often unacknowledged benefits of participation in STC is the camaraderie and support found in STC communities. It’s surprising how tech writers across industries and organizational levels struggle with the same problems: lack of access to SMEs, having writing projects thrown over the wall, being the first people jettisoned in a downturn, etc. STC members know how to help you overcome these struggles.
STC is the only organization of its kind for general technical writing (though there’s AMWA for medical writers, APMP for proposal writers, the IEEE professional writing component, and the ATTW for tech comm teachers, among other groups. STC’s broad focus makes it an excellent source of best practices and learning across industries.
The STC provides access to optimal career development, professional networking, and professional and educational materials as it advances of theory and practice of technical communication. As a result, the society’s members spread throughout the field, benefitting various countries and industries. STC is a great candidate for individuals who are looking to join an organization that will provide them with excellent training and networking that they can put to use immediately in their jobs.