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Technical Communication

Overview

Technical Communication is the science and art of creating, managing, and sharing information through every communications medium—including writing, video, illustration, websites, and multi-media. If you’ve ever assembled something with an instruction set, or made a purchasing decision based on a product review, or needed to follow a protocol to be successful at work, you’ve already reaped the benefits of a technical communicator’s work. However, these specific examples can’t capture the true power of this kind of work. Technical communicators shape information; and in doing so, they shape our world and create possibilities. In an increasingly technical and specialized world, the ability to communicate anything to anyone in any medium is invaluable. Whether you want a Technical Communication career or simply want to give voice to your vision in another specialized field (such as the sciences, engineering, or medicine), a minor or certificate in Technical Communication prepares you to make a profound difference in the rapidly evolving, complex world of today and the foreseeable future.

Technical communicators are in strong demand across the nation and especially throughout Utah, where the concentration of high technology industries provides exceptional opportunities for professionals with strong technical and scientific communication skills. Our program has a diverse faculty, as well as a host of courses rich in both theory and practice. The program produces technical communicators whose education does not conclude when they receive their diplomas; rather it infuses them with a lifelong professional curiosity through a rich curriculum that rewards critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and effective communication.

Motivating Questions

  • Why is technical communication so essential in our modern technological and information intensive world?
  • How does document and interface design effect or hinder the successfulness of communication?
  • What ethical dilemmas arise and what ethical responsibilities (to themselves, to society, to the environment) do technical communicators have when performing their work?
  • How has social media and the rise of amateur technical communicators (on wikis and sites like Youtube) affected the technical communication industry proper?
  • What kind of preparation is necessary to thrive in a technical communication career?

Courses Overview

There are multiple ways to engage with the Technical Communication offerings at UVU. A minor or emphasis in Writing Studies <link to Writing Studies emphasis page> requires some mandatory technical communication classes along with a few electives. Other classes in Writing Studies teach students about the ethical and social contexts of writing which adds important depth to the complexity of all professional writing. Students with a more focused eye on a Technical Communication career may want to look into our Technical Communication minor and certification. The minor and certificate paths require less classes without sacrificing the rigor and depth of knowledge required to jumpstart your Technical Communication career.

The core of all options is our introduction to technical communication course which covers essential technical genres and the basics of technical style and design. Subsequent classes cover fundamentals in editing, strategies for collaboration, digital design software, and genre specific composition. Internship opportunities with local companies also build real world experience into your educational plan and allow you to start building professional contacts before graduation.

What Can I Do with Technical Communication?

Technical Communication is excellent preparation for graduate work in the sciences. Also, Technical communication is one of the ten fastest growing fields of expertise in the United States. Technical communicators are in demand in seemingly endless professional settings in the corporate, academic, and government worlds, including

  • Publishing and editing
  • Technical marketing communications
  • Software documentation
  • Usability experts
  • Social Media marketing
  • Mechanical and civil engineering;
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical/pharmaceutical industry
  • Myriad science fields, from astronomy to zoology and everything in between
  • Myriad domestic and foreign government agency work in sciences, technologies, medicine, environmentalism, social work, etc.
  • Grant proposal development

Faculty Contact

Minor Requirements

ENGL 2050 Editing
ENGL 2310 Technical Communication
ENGL 3340 Digital Document Design
ENGL 4340 Advanced Technical Communication

And choose one of the following:

ENGL 3050 Advanced Editing and Design for Print Media
ENGL 3300 Collaborative Communication for Technology Professions
ENGL 3320 Grant and Proposal Writing
ENGL 436R Topics in Technical Communication