You will agree that there is no doubt that technical writing is a lucrative career with handsome payouts but there comes the point of saturation, from where you need to grow and extend your area of expertise.
Reality is this is not the case of only technical writers, in fact, this is the scenario in almost all the profession excluding movie and politics.
In the professional journey, you have acquired a lot of new skills like people management, facilitation of meeting, project management, listening, usability, content marketing which can help you to bag a new career which you dream to do.
Let us face it:
Generally, after around ten years of experience as a technical writer professionals start looking out for more options where they can excel in their career path.
Working as a technical writer makes them efficient enough to understand technologies as well as working in a team and managing it.
Learning never ends, and knowledge never goes in vain.
Here is something for you.
In this blog post, five best career transition position from the technical writer is discussed.
How we prepared the list and why we are saying them best?
Here is the fact:
Interviewed the technical communicators who switched career.
Salary was also one of the parameters. We make sure average salary should be equal to or more than tech writers of similar experience group.
In the first Information Developers Conclave, our theme was Transformation many ideas came from that conclave.
Before finalizing the list, we have considered the skills generally intermediate technical writers (4-18 years of experience) acquired during the job.
Listed those core competency and mapped with other career options.
Secondary skills which tech writers acquire on the jobs:
- Interviewing skill
- Information gathering skill
- Co-ordinating skill
- Meeting facilitation skill
- People management
- Domain knowledge
- Product knowledge
- Planning and management skill
- Communication skill
Have a sneak peek and decide yourself what suits you.
1) Program Manager
If you are confusing a program manager with a project manager. A program manager manages a program that may include more than one project.
A program manager’s job is to plan and govern a program. He is also responsible for the successful completion of the product /outcome of the program.
The nature of his job is mostly operational so he must possess both knowledge and managerial skills. Practical experiences help him manage and understand the program.
Job Responsibility of a Program Manager:
Let’s be specific about the roles played by a program manager.
- He is responsible for doing daily program management from the launch to completion of any program.
- He is responsible for defining the rules and regulations to the span of control.
- He plans and keeps a check on the execution of it in a program.
- To manage the program budget also comes under the eye of a program manager.
- He also does the risk management and finds alternative solutions to it.
- In a program the number of the project involved are interdependent, a program manager is responsible for the coordination.
- A program manager also manages the resources across all the projects in a program.
- Initial program documentation is also managed by him.
- Being the program manager, he is responsible for the communication with stakeholders.
Must have skills for a program manager:
A program manager is a responsible position in an organization, so it becomes mandatory to have some necessary skills crucial for this job.
- He should have excellent leadership and managerial skill.
- As he manages resources, he should have a good knowledge of the resource allocation process.
- To cope up with risk management, he should have an innovative mind to find multidirectional solutions.
- To make a program cost-effective, he should know about budgeting.
- The objective of the program should be well understood by a program manager.
- He must have a positive approach towards the resources in a program for creating a better working environment.
- He also needs to be aware of the tricks and techniques of program and project management.
Salary of a Program Manager:
Seeing the responsibilities and skills required for a program manager, if you are wondering what to do, it’s time to rejoice.
The salary they draw is enough to cover up the investment they do in their profession. Take a look at the survey-
An average salary of more than 21 lakh/annum is what they draw in India.
It also varies according to the country you are working in. In the U.S the average salary of a program manager is 1, 27,445 USD.
Start working on the skills required now, if you think you can move in the direction of a technical writer to a program manager.
You can contact Alok Sharma and Madhumita Sharma for the transition to the program manager.
2) Business Analyst
Next most sought career opportunity for the technical writer is – Business Analyst.
As per the name suggest they are the one who analyses a business and recommends necessary changes to make the business cost effective.
They work as a bridge between the organization and its IT needs. Not only this, but they are also involved in the documentation of processes in a business and the business model.
Analyzing a business also includes the analysis of risk and after effects of it. This makes the job of a business analyst of great responsibility.
They determine the requirements of a project to optimize the budget and make it cost effective.
They also need to communicate the requirements, and the necessary changes recommended to the partner, stakeholder facilitator, etc.
Job Description of a Business Analyst:
- They are involved in the planning and monitoring of business to analyze it better.
- They find out the requirements and communicate it in a simplified and translated way for a better understanding.
- They analyze the risk involved and the possible solutions.
- They minimize the budget to increase profit.
- First and the most important skill required is a good verbal and written communication skill. It helps them to convince the organization and stakeholders to make the necessary changes for the business to run more efficiently.
- He should be diplomatic as he will have to convince the people involved in the business.
- He must have an analytical mind and a problem-solving approach.
- He should have the capability to understand and respond to the need of stakeholders.
- As he is a part of business planning, he must know the modeling techniques to create a business model.
- He should have leadership qualities to keep his views firmly before the partners and stakeholders.
- He should know about budgeting.
Now the most awaited query about business analyst- SALARY.
In India, the average salary of a business analyst is 8, 86,971 per year. Salary depends on the experience and country you are working in.
3) UX Designer
UX designers are responsible for the experience of a user. They are concerned with the overall feel of the product. They lay a path to ensure a systematic flow of the product.
They observe the behavior of people by user tests because they are committed to providing a better user experience to a new user.
To provide a fantastic user experience they use few tools to create a particular design namely Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, Fireworks, In vision.
The end product that we get from a UX designer is Storyboards, Sitemap, wireframes of the screen, etc.
Job Description of a UX Designer
Common job responsibilities are:
- Defining the interaction models, UI specification and user task flows.
- Developing and maintaining design wireframes, mockups, and similar specifications
- Communicating experience from initial to the last step, screen designs and interaction models with stake holders.
- Making the customer journey map.
Skills required for a UX designer
A set of expertise is needed to become an efficient UX designer, and few of them are already a technical writer, and it makes them easy to move in this field.
- UX research – Research skills are mandatory because it gives us the eyes to see the things that make the user experience better.
- UX writing- this skill is used to help customer interact with the product by guiding them through crafted UI copy.
- Interaction design- it is the designing of interactive digital products or the model of the interaction between user and products.
- User empathy- A product can better interact if it has a user-centered design approach. User empathy lets a UX designer look at a product from the eye of a new customer. It can help him to develop a better design.
- Coding- coding helps to play with the computer such as creating computer software, games, apps website. It helps to design the map that a UX designer conceives in his mind.
- Visual communication- visual communication helps to give form to our ideas that can be visualized by others too. It is a combination of visual art and technology to communicate.
- Collaboration- UX designing is not a cup of tea for a single person. A UX designer needs to collaborate with designer and developers to create user-friendly software.
- Wireframing- UX designer should know wireframing and UI prototyping analysis. They must know about the number percentage ratio.
An average salary nearing to 8.5lpa is good enough to move in the field of UX designing. Again, to be noted, it is flexible with the place you are working in.
Information Developers Foundation recommends Interaction Design Foundation for UX career development and UX design course.
You can contact Rajesh Khurana to know his journey of transition. He is a Usability lead.
4) Scrum Master/Agile coach
No, you are not going to be a professor!
In the pursuit of making things easy and agile, to hit the goal on time, in an organization, the agile methodology was introduced.
Scrum is one of the methodologies that follow agile principles and manages the process of information exchange. They allow making changes in the team and self-organize it for better results.
Scrum means “restart the game”.
Although he is the coach to manage processes, he is not responsible for the scrum. It is the whole team and the project leader who is accountable for the result.
The scrum master is a job of great responsibility because he is a change agent.
Job Responsibility of a Scrum master
- They help the team to finish a specific task in the given time (sprint) that is set for it.
- In the daily scrum, they help the team to achieve the set goal by staying focused and follow the set rules for the daily scrum on which they have agreed unanimously.
- They protect the team from outside distractions.
- He accelerates the process through his leadership and motivational skills.
Skills a Scrum master should posses
- He should have the capability to do the resolution of conflicts within a team. For that, he should implement scrum values in a team.
- Facilitate Agile estimation and planning meeting.
- He should know how to coach agile practices.
- He should know to establish a proper communication channel.
- He should have the knack to protect his team from distractions and interference.
- Servant Leadership skill is a must to let the team follow the scrum process.
They draw a handsome salary – an average of nearly 12lpa. In the United States, the average salary is $88171.
For technical writers world, the first course about agile technical communicators is conducted by Information Developers Foundation. More than 500 senior technical communicators have completed the certification,
IF you want to be Scrum Master we commend to join the course from the iZenBridge.
If you want to do the course from iZenBridge, get a discount coupon from us. You can get upto INR 2000-3000.
To more about this profession you can contact Rahul Karn.
5) Automation Tester
Test automation is used to control the execution of tests and comparing the results with the expected result with the help of specific software tools. An automation tester performs these tasks.
The job description of an automation tester
An automation tester needs to coordinate with the team involved in the development of a product for the delivery of a stable result.
They execute test automation through Lab view, Python, hardware and software tools.
They estimate the test in coordination for work activities.
They also have to be a part of the product designing so that the end product passes the tests and meet the criteria of the desired result.
They verify bug fixes and record the test results.
An automation tester prepares a software defect tracking and passes on the entire project release itinerary to the stakeholders.
Skills needed to be an automation tester
- As a tester, he needs to know how to deal with troubleshooting.
- Knowledge of coding and scripting is a must.
- Automation tester should have a broad knowledge of the development process of software like SDLC and Agile.
- Should know the configuration management software experience.
A good experience always attracts a better salary in any field. An average salary of automation tester is given below
Sometimes they are also called senior quality assurance as they are responsible for maintaining the quality of a product by testing it.
Few more options you should explore:
This also a very promising career. You can contact Anuj Kapoor for more insight into this profession. NIIT technologies have a big team of IDs. To learn more about ID visit the blog of Anuj here.
Content strategy is most frequently used in content marketing. Marketers develop the strategy of content according to the customer journey for the sales funnel. You can become a content strategist at the enterprise level and add value in content reusability by bringing the contents of different department of the same organization.
Blogging is a most common side-gig by writers. I know many bloggers who earn millions from using the blogging skill.
Content is king once Bill Gates used this term. This is a fact today in digital marketing. Google search engine is now much smarter to be fooled by useless search engine optimization activities. If you want your digital marketing correct you will have to focus on organic content marketing.
Amit Kapur shifted his career from technical communication to content marketing.
You can choose to be a product owner. To be product owner you should have deep knowledge of business and domain. Product owner role is customer facing and rewarding.
There are more career options other than these five explained above. After an experience of about ten years, these are the major fields where a technical writer can move. All these fields need the basic skills that a technical writer possesses, and so it becomes easy to move ahead with these professions. In fact in the scrum framework product owner is ringable.
It is now your turn to share the profile of your friend who changed career to some other field from technical writer.
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