Technical Communication Courses


These courses are ready for registrations!

Interested in a career in technical writing? Interested in adding something to that degree in English, History, Philosophy, Communications, Advertising, Marketing that will actually enable you to get a job or change careers? If so, consider the business and technical writing courses listed here!

Note: Of course there are tutorial offerings on these topics at places like lynda.com and OSTraining. McMurrey Associates certainly offers the same training, including videos. But the big difference here is that you develop portfoilio-quality projects and get close review by a professional technical communicator, with plenty of time to do revisions.


About the program . . .

This program began offering courses through Brooklyn College continuing education in 1999. Currently unaffiliated with a college or university, it remains a small program in which students have plenty of opportunity to interact with instructors. As of February 2013, people from all over the world have registered for and completed over 900 individual sections of the courses that are offered. Read about the primary instructor as http://www.prismnet.com/~hcexres.

This program offers four separate certificates. These include:

The courses in these certificates introduce you to the essential areas in the technical communication and technical writing profession. The entire program is online: you can take the courses individually, or you can take the courses in one of the certificates listed above—right in your own home, at any time, and from anywhere in the world.


What you learn . . .

Each of these courses is eight weeks long, and each packs in a lot of writing, a lot of software, and a lot of learning. The courses introduce you to the technical communication profession, common page and book design, hypertext, HTML, web pages, online helps, technical reports, basic graphics techniques, desktop publishing, user guides, instructions, and more. You get valuable experience with essential software tools such as FrameMaker, RoboHELP, Drupal, Dreamweaver, and other such applications. To get work as a technical writer, you need items like these on your resume and in your portfolio. These courses guide you in building an attractive resume and a powerful portfolio that will help you get employment as a technical writer.

Also in these courses, you'll learn how to build a resume especially for technical-writing employment, how to start a portfolio that shows off your work in the key software applications employers are looking for, how to find technical-writing jobs, and how to become an active, responsible member of the profession.


How the courses work . . .

In each course, you have a plan of study and projects mapped out for you: you do readings from textbooks or the Web as well as exercises and quizzes to test your learning, and write several projects that your instructor reviews and comments on. Based on your instructor's comments, you then revise and have your instructor review again. See an example of instructors' comment style.

These courses are not for traditional academic credit. They are continuing-education courses. If you are interested in online technical-writing courses for academic credit, see Austin Community College Technical Communications Program.


Find out more about technical writing

To explore the field of technical writing (also called technical communication), visit these sites:

  • TECHWR-L. The Internet-based community and resource for technical communicators worldwide. The TECHWR-L discussion list has more than 3,000 direct subscribers and an estimated daily readership of more than 10,000 people worldwide.

  • Society for Technical Communication. An individual membership organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of technical communication. It is the largest organization of its type in the world. Its 14,000 members include technical writers and editors, content developers, documentation specialists, technical illustrators, instructional designers, academics, information architects, usability and human factors professionals, visual designers, Web designers and developers, and translators—anyone whose work makes technical information available to those who need it

  • EServer TC Library. A free, open access index for professional, scientific and technical communicators (such as technical writers).

See course details . . .

You can see detailed descriptions of the courses, even the syllabi for the courses (but without the links to the actual study units).

Here are some links to sample units:

Screen capturing
Cropping and sizing graphics
Creating tables in FrameMaker
Developing indexes
Help modeling project


Representative student work


Tuition fees and duration

Here are the specifics:

  • Each of the eight courses lasts eight weeks.
  • Each course costs $200.00.
  • You can take course in any order[ you can request course substitutions in certificate; but we recommend TW101 first.
  • Certificates are not provided when you complete individual courses. We will send a letter confirming your completion of an individual course at your request.
  • Please be aware that we cannot not refund tuition payments.

Software expenses and books

Required and recommended books are listed in the course syllabi.

One of the big problems in getting your technical-writing career going is the expense of the software. Employers will have licenses for the software they want you to use, but in the meantime you've got to get access to that software on your own. Here are some costs as of April 2013. Pricing and packaging for these items change constantly, especially educational discounts; contact hcexres@prismnet.com for updates.

Software Cost (US)
Adobe FrameMaker In Technical Communication Suite, $69/month subscription
Adobe RoboHelp In Technical Communication Suite, $69/month subscription
Adobe Dreamweaver* $149.00 (contact instructor before purchasing)
Adobe Acrobat In Technical Communication Suite, $69/month subscription
Adobe Photoshop In Technical Communication Suite, $69/month subscription
Microsoft Office 365
Office Home & Student 2013
Subscriptions: $9.99/month – $99.99/year
Purchase: $139.00

* Educational discount.


Register!

You can register for one course, several courses, or the entire set of eight courses. Your courses start 7 days after we receive your tuition payment. If you sign up for several courses or all of the courses, your courses will be scheduled back to back with 7 days between each one. (You can specify changes to your schedule of courses—for example, you can leave more time between courses or take courses concurrently.)

Fill out the registration form, tell us a bit about yourself and select the courses you want. Billing information will be included. (You are not obligated to pay for the courses that you select in the registration form.)

Caution: Please be aware that once we have received your tuition payment, that payment cannot be refunded for any reason.

Contact hcexres@prismnet.com for additional information.