Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Who Are We? A Report on the 2018 Census of Technical Communicators

542 views

Published on

My slides from the three-speaker closing Keynote of the 2019 STC Summit with Ginny Redish and Karen Schriver. These slides summarize the main results of the 2018 Census of Technical Communicators.

Published in: Business
  • Get the best essay, research papers or dissertations. from ⇒ www.HelpWriting.net ⇐ A team of professional authors with huge experience will give u a result that will overcome your expectations.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Earn Up To $316/day! Easy Writing Jobs from the comfort of home! ★★★ http://t.cn/AieXS62G
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Thanx for sharing this, Saul. I was particularly pleased to see that most were satisfied with their communication career. But we need to be aware of the challenges the census exposed.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here

Who Are We? A Report on the 2018 Census of Technical Communicators

  1. 1. Who Are We? A Report on the 2018 Census of Technical Communicators Saul Carliner, PhD, CTDP Professor and Director, Graduate Program in Educational Technology Concordia University Montreal, Canada saulcarliner@hotmail.com www.saulcarliner.com
  2. 2. About you (Raise your hand when your letter is called.) a. Planner / content strategist / information architect b. Technical writer c. Technical writer / editor d. Editor e. Manager f. Other
  3. 3. In a word, how would you describe the current state of technical communication? (Please share your thoughts.)
  4. 4. Results 1. Our backgrounds 2. Jobs and work situations 3. Job and career satisfaction 4. Professional development
  5. 5. The census: A snapshot of our field
  6. 6. How we conducted the census (abridged version)  Co-sponsored by STC and Concordia University, sponsored by Webworks.  University ethics approval.  Conducted online, between July and August 2018.  676 technical communicators responded.  Raw results only right now
  7. 7. Advance notice: I will be sharing a lot of charts and figures with you.
  8. 8. Category 1. Our Backgrounds
  9. 9. Age 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-65 66-70 71 or older Prefer not to say VII-a. What is your age range?
  10. 10. Racial and cultural associations 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 VII-c—With which of the following do you identify ?
  11. 11. Degrees in Technical Communication 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 N/A No Yes VII-h. Were any of your degrees specifically in Technical Communication?
  12. 12. (So what did participants study?) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Business Communication and Writing Engineering Fine Arts Humanities Natural Sciences Social Sciences Which discipline was your degree in? Bachelor’s degree Master’s degree Doctorate’s degree
  13. 13. Experience in Technical Communication 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1–5 years 6–10 years 11–15 years 16–20 years 21–25 years 26–30 years 31–35 years 36–40 years 41 or more years II-b. How long have you worked in technical communication?
  14. 14. Category 2. Our Jobs and Work Situations
  15. 15. Primary job role 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 II-g. Which of the following best characterizes your current job role? If more than of these describes your role, choose the one that is most dominant:
  16. 16. Current jobs About a third of the participants shared their job titles.  46% had the term technical writer (most common), editor or communicator.  5% use information developer in their job title  5% incorporate the term “documentation” into their titles.  3 participants had the term “content” in their job title: 1 content architect, 1 content developer, and 1 content strategist.  25% of the participants were in a senior role. The majority use the term “Senior” to indicate this status  3% each use the terms “Principal” and “Lead” to signify a senior role
  17. 17. Work responsibilities 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 I am an account exec or similar (such as liaisons… I conduct research on technical communication -… I develop content I edit content I have subject Matter Expert responsibilities (such… I manage a technical communication group I manage technical communication projects with no… I organize events I plan strategy for my organization’s content I provide other communication services I provide technical guidance or assistance with… I provide usability services I teach courses on technical communication II-h,I,j. Which of the following descriptions best characterizes your work responsibilities? tertiary (third) work responsibility
  18. 18. Products produced (As many as 5 in past 12 months) Products Produced in the Past 12 Months Rank Percentage Who Produce Them User guides 1 66% Help and user assistance topics 2 52% Reference material 3 46% Tutorials and training materials 4 45% Policies and procedures 5 40% Knowledge bases 6 31% Product specifications 7 26% Employee communication materials 8 26% User interfaces 9 25% Marketing information 10 20% Other 11 16% Proposals 12 15% Newsletters 13 12% White papers 14 9% Social media content 15 9% Scientific reports 16 7% Chatbots 17 2%
  19. 19. Work practices To a great extent To some extent Minimally Not at all Technical communication standards 45% 37% 9% 5% Structured writing 37% 27% 14% 18% Agile 29% 23% 16% 28% Translation 15% 16% 20% 46% Printing 10% 22% 32% 34% Other 30% 40% 17% 10%
  20. 20. Technologies used (7 most used in past 12 months) Technology Rank Percentage Who Use It Word processing (such as Word and Google Docs) 1 76% Acrobat 2 66% Spreadsheet (such as Excel and Google Sheets) 3 65% Presentation (such as PowerPoint and Apple Keynote) 4 51% Graphics (such as Photoshop and Illustrator) 5 43% Cloud storage (such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive) 6 42% CMS (SharePoint) 7 32% Collaboration tools (such as MS Teams and Slack) 8 31% Help authoring (such as MadCap Flare, and RoboHelp) 9 31% Desktop publishing (such as InDesign and FrameMaker) 10 30% Web development (Dreamweaver, HTML, CSS, JavaScript) 11 21% Component Content Management System—proprietary 12 20% eLearning authoring (such as Camtasia, Captivate, and Storyline) 13 19% Project planning (such as Visio) 14 18% Other 15 15% Open Content Management System (such as Drupal or WordPress) (tie) 16 14% DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) (tie) 16 14% Database (such as Access and MySQL) 18 9% Video and sound editing (such as Premier, Avid, and Audacity) 19 8% Translation management system 20 7% Engineering graphics (such as AutoCAD) 21 6% Storyboarding/wireframe (such as Axure) 22 4%
  21. 21. Tenure in your current job 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Less than 1 year 1–5 years 6–10 years 11–15 years 16–20 years 21–25 years 26–30 years 31 or more years II-c. How long have you held your current job?
  22. 22. Employment situation 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Academic Business owner (legally self-employed) Consultant Independent contractor Regular employee of an organization whose primary business is providing technical communication-related services (such as a contract writing firm) Regular employee of an organization whose primary business is something other than providing technical communication services (such as a software development firm, defense contractor, or education institution) II-d. Which best describes your employment situation?
  23. 23. Industries in which participants work 0 5 10 15 20 25 Business Services Construction Engineering, Architecture, and Construction Finance and Banking Health and Medical Services Higher Education Information IT Services and Solutions Marketing Services Nonprofit Professional Services Residential and Commercial Services Scientific equipment manufacturer Transportation VII-d. Which industry best characterizes your organization?
  24. 24. Size of organizations in which participants work 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 VII-f. What is the size of your organization?
  25. 25. To whom participants report  Information Technology and Information Services (IT/IS) (21%)  Research and Development (19%).  Manufacturing (6%)  Marketing and Sales (5%).  Other (22%)
  26. 26. Where participants are located 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Australia/New Zealand Canada East Asia Europe India Israel Mexico, Central American or South America Other United States—mid-Atlantic (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland,… United States—North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan,… United States—Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New… United States—Northwest and Alaska (Alaska, Idaho, Montana,… United States—South Central (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri,… United States—Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,… United States—Southwest and Hawaii (Arizona, California, Colorado,… VII-e. In which geographic region do you work?
  27. 27. Category 3. Job and Career Satisfaction
  28. 28. Job issues Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Dis- agree Strongly disagree My employer provides sufficient staff to produce the content needed by our users. 7% 29% 21% 25% 13% My employer provides sufficient time to produce the content needed by our users. 9% 37% 24% 21% 6% My employer provides adequate authority to make decisions regarding our content. 30% 41% 13% 9% 4% My employer pays me a sufficient amount of money for the skills and knowledge I bring to my job. 14% 43% 17% 15% 7%
  29. 29. Feedback Received on the Job Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree My superiors provide me with feedback on my work. 19% 46% 16% 11% 4% The feedback I receive from my superiors about my work is helpful. 15% 40% 26% 10% 4%
  30. 30. Resources Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree My employer provides sufficient resources for professional development (such as conference attendance, memberships to professional organizations) 14% 29% 24% 17% 12% My co-workers recognize my expertise in technical communication 33% 42% 14% 6% 2% I feel underutilized in my job 14% 28% 14% 21% 20% I am satisfied with my current job in Technical Communication. 31% 39% 12% 10% 4%
  31. 31. Opinions and concerns about the future I believe my job could be outsourced out of existence within the next 5 years. Percent Definitely 3% Probably 12% Probably not 42% Definitely not 28% I don’t know 15%
  32. 32. Concerns about the future--automation Over the last five years, technology has assumed tasks that used to be handled by humans In my technical commu- nication group That I used to personally perform Always 1% 1% Often 5% 3% Sometimes 39% 15% Rarely 34% 31% Never 27% 46%
  33. 33. Digging further into concerns about automation I believe my job could be automated out of existence by 2030 Percent Definitely 3% Probably 10% Probably not 40% Definitely not 30% I don’t know 17%
  34. 34. Concerns about job security I am concerned about my current job security Percent Extremely concerned 5% Moderately concerned 9% Somewhat concerned 11% Slightly concerned 33% Not at all concerned 42%
  35. 35. Career plans for the next five years 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Less than 1 year 1 to 2 years 2 to 3 years 3 to 5 years More than 5 years I have no plans to leave my current job How long do you plan to stay in your current job?
  36. 36. Of those who plan to change jobs. . . If you plan to leave your job in 5 years or less, do you plan to remain in Technical Communication? Perce nt Yes 61% No 39%
  37. 37. Of those who plan to change jobs. . . Academic/faculty Account executive Business owner (2 or more employees other than you) Editor Manager or supervisor (with personnel responsibilities) Other Project manager (with no personnel responsibilities) Retired Usability/UX Specialist Writer Writer/Editor Five years from now, what would you like your job role to be?
  38. 38. Satisfaction with careers I am satisfied with my career in Technical Communication. Percentage Strongly agree 30% Agree 46% Neither agree nor disagree 14% Disagree 8% Strongly disagree 2%
  39. 39. But . . . Rank and order these titles in terms of what you believe holds the most influence within an organization. Weighted Score (weighting of the rankings) 1. Product Manager 8515 2. Engineer 7934 3. Business Analyst 7368 4. Programmer 6616 5. Information Architect 6278 6. Content Strategist 5750 7. UX Specialist 5327 8. Marketing Communicator 4858 9. Information Developer 4778 10. Content Developer 4239 11. Instructional Designer 4020 12. Technical Communicator 3638 13. Technical Writer 3210 14. Documentation Specialist 3096 15. Technical Editor 2853
  40. 40. Category 4. Professional Development
  41. 41. Magazines and webzines  Intercom (52% had visited 5 or more times in the past 12 months; 6% had not visited at all in the past 12 months)  Techwriting Today (8% of participants had visited 5 or more times in the past 12 months; 52% had not visited at all in the past 12 months)  Less than 5% of participants had visited other magazines and webzines like Learning Solutions, Communication World, and User Experience 5 or more times in the past 12 months. By contrast, 58% or more of participants had not visited these three magazines and webzines at all in the past 12 months. Participants could write in other magazines or webzines that they had visited 5 or more times in the past 12 months; none received 5 or more mentions.  In addition, 39% of participants had not visited any professional magazine or webzine in the past 12 months.
  42. 42. Peer-reviewed journals Journal Percentage of Participants Who Read 3 or More Issues in the Past 12 Months Percentage of Participants Who Had Not Read at All in the Past 12 Months Business and Professional Communication Quarterly 3% 34% Communication Design Quarterly 4% 34% International Journal of Business Communication 3% 35% Information Design Journal 2% 35% Journal of Business and Technical Communication 5% 32% Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 8% 28% IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 10% 28% Programmatic Perspectives 2% 35% Technical Communication 28% 10% Technical Communication Quarterly 7% 28%
  43. 43. Conferences 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 ConFab Convey UX Information Development World STC certificate programs STC Summit TCWorld Conference Write the Docs conference I did not attend any conference or training event in the past 12 months Other Which of the following conferences and training events did you attend in 2017 or 2018?
  44. 44. Meetings 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Local meetups STC chapter meetings STC webinars Chapter meetings of professional associations other than STC Webinars of professional associations other than STC Webinars by private providers (such as the Content Wrangler) I did not attend any meetings like these in the past 12 months Other Which of the following meetings did you attend at least once during the past 12 months?
  45. 45. “Go-to” source Source Number 1 “go-to” source Number 2 “go-to” source Blogs 7% 10% Books 13% 7% Events (training classes, webinars, conference, and meetings) 6% 7% Magazine/webzines 5% 5% Journals 6% 3% Social media 3% 5% I do not have any “number 1/2 go-to” source. 46%
  46. 46. Formal professional development Do you plan to participate in any formal training or education over the next 12 months? Percentage Yes 36% No 36% No response 28%
  47. 47. How participants plan to pursue professional development How do you plan to pursue this training or education? Percentage Formal degree program 5% Academic course 7% Course offered by my employer 9% Course offered by a professional association like STC or ATTW 21% Course offered by a private provider like the Content Wrangler or Coursera 17% Other [write-in] 10%
  48. 48. Who pays? Expenditure I paid My employer paid We shared costs No expenditure s in the last 12 months Publication subscriptions 31% 24% 2% 40% Membership dues 39% 41% 2% 15% Conference attendance 14% 29% 5% 48% Training 21% 36% 5% 24% Other 20% 9% 3% 64%
  49. 49. Personal investments How much of your own funds did you invest in your professional development in the last 12 months? Percentage $US 1–$250 31% $US 251–$500 16% $US 501–$750 7% $US 750–$1,000 8% $US 1,001–$2,500 6% $US 2,501 or more 5%
  50. 50. Time invested 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 None 1–3 hours 4–6 hours 7–9 hours 10–12 hours 13 or more hours On average, how many hours a month do you engage in professional development
  51. 51. What do these results mean to you? (Please share your thoughts.)
  52. 52. My thoughts about the meaning  Technical communicators are very satisfied with their careers  Technical communicators feel secure in their jobs  Our assignments tend to skew towards the conventional, even though the professional community might lead us to believe others  We might benefit from strengthening efforts in professional development  Technical communication is a “second career” for many  Many do not have formal degrees in the field, but do have related degrees  We face demographic challenges as a profession  Although we find satisfaction in our jobs, we have broader concerns about our status
  53. 53. To learn more, see Intercom 2018(8).

×