Tech Writer Thoughts – Joining the STC

I know, it’s been a hella long time since I posted and that’s kinda sad.

If you remember, I’ve been on the quest to become a technical writer, which started all the way back in June. Since then, I’ve been trying to jump into the career, while maintaining a full time job schedule; which, btw, I hate job searching in case you’re wondering. I hate it with every fiber of my being, if that’s even possible. (In this case, yes it is).

society for technical communication

society for technical communication

So I’ve gone the usual job search route, until I heard about the STC. What, you may ask, is the STC? It stands for the Society of Technical Communication, a group for…well, technical communicators. In my case, technical writers. A networking group if you will dedicated to bringing those of us together, in the realm of technical communication. The normal year membership is like $150, which…what? $150! Good lord, that’s a lot of money! Hence why I wasn’t jumping at the chance to join, but I did sign up to get more info and luckily, a sales price went up, so I decided to give it a try.

What’s the point of the STC?

Well, as mentioned, the whole point of joining is to network with other tech comm folks. For my purpose, it was to see if there were any technical writing positions that I was missing from the normal job boards.

Well? How’s it going?

In a word – meh. Ironically enough, the very thing I wanted to do – find hidden jobs that might not be showing up – is actually not working, all for the fact that I never seem to find anything in Arizona. Scratch that. Arizona isn’t even listed in the states I can check.

Kinda feeling that I just wasted my special $75.

I’m a Tech Writer! Should I join the STC?

See, that was my question and I’m still on the fence about it. In regards to the job board, definitely no, however there are other things that being a member helps with and those are webinars and online courses. The upcoming webinars, in which many are free, do seem to be worth while and I’ll totally get back with you on those when I get to see them.

I will say that joining the STC for the online courses is bubkiss. As in, don’t bother. On top of the normal $150 year membership, the STC online courses are $550 a course; that’s the member price. I could get away with taking online classes at an actual university for the price they offer for non members. Heck, the certification I got was only $95 and the writing classes I’m doing now are free, thanks to MOOCs. Not that I’m saying the STC classes wouldn’t be worth it, but for $550? Why aren’t they being offered for free, especially in the face of sites like Udacity, Coursera, and Khan University? In fact, I believe a similar class at Udacity was about $200, which is about the price you’d pay – again – for a university course.

So far, I’m still on the fence on the benefits of being a member. Right now, I’m not seeing any, but the free webinars have caught my attention, so I’ll wait to see those. Other than that – job searching, online courses – not really appealing to me when I’m paying to be a part of the group. If I was already established, that may be one thing, but as a beginner, the prices are too high, without the benefits I’m easily getting elsewhere for free.


About Writer 66

Writing since the age of seven, managed to get a job as a copy writer, while enjoying the unsung awesomeness as a creative fan fic writer.

Posted on October 6, 2014, in Beginnings, MOOC, technical writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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