President, Future Technical Communicators club at UCF
With a plethora of guest speaker meetings and networking events, the Future Technical Communicators club has been as active as it has ever been this past school year. We also had opportunities to make FTC go beyond just UCF in our ventures to Otronicon Tech Expo and the STC Summit, two big initiatives that our attendees had a great and informative time at. Finally, our club continues to be a big family with our social events and our active Discord. To celebrate and recognize all that and more, here is a comprehensive recap of FTC’s 2021-2022 program year.
Secretary, Future Technical Communicators club at UCF
Hello, everyone! I know most, if not all of our blog’s readers are pursuing a career in tech comm and are looking to get themselves out there in the world of job searching. Once you begin the process, it can definitely feel as though you’re navigating through a whirlwind of emotions and activity. Sure, you’re familiar with what tech comm encompasses, but how do you figure out which industry or niche you want to get into? Knowing how versatile the field of tech comm is and the different types of opportunities out there, it can definitely feel daunting to pinpoint what you want to do with your degree.
There are a plethora of industries focused on hiring technical communicators, ranging from health care to public relations, all wanting highly-skilled individuals with a passion for writing and editing. As noted by Masters in Communications, the most notable career paths in the field are, “Technical Writer or Documentation Specialist, Medical Writer, Training Consultant, Science and Technology Journalist, and Researcher” (p.11).
Additional job titles for technical communicators (Source: stc.org):
Technical Writers & Editors
Globalization & Localization Specialists
Usability & Human Factors Professionals
Web Designers & Developers
Teachers & Researchers of Technical Communication
Trainers and E-Learning Developers
As you navigate through your course load, it is plausible to find a specialization or industry that you might want to get into. You might take an interest in scientific writing, multimedia production, instructional writing, and many others. If multiple interests you at once, that’s okay too! It can actually serve as an advantage since companies and industries admire versatility. By being someone who can develop and hone their skills in various tech comm areas, many more opportunities can fall at your door.
Although taking courses and obtaining your degree is essential, networking and gaining experience is what will you that extra push. Through internships and some odd jobs here and there, you will be able to further develop your writing/editing style, find your preferred niche(s), and connect with others who share common tech comm interests.
Danielle Porres – Secretary, Publications Committee Member
Hi! My name is Danielle, the current secretary of FTC. I’m a sophomore majoring in Technical Communication and minoring in Writing & Rhetoric. It is my first semester as a member of FTC, but so far it’s been such an amazing and rewarding experience. The FTC community strives to not only promote the importance of technical literacy but the significance of making connections. As secretary of FTC, I hope to contribute to our blog’s publications, utilize my organizational skills, and continuously communicate with the leaders. Aside from my work in FTC, I am a proofreader for the Johnson’s Dictionary Project and a member of Sigma Tau Delta. When I’m not working, I enjoy creative journaling, reading, and listening to music.
We’re preparing to board our flight tonight to STC’s annual conference. Our attendees are John Clement, Zachary Miller, Caitlyn Hunter, Sarah Vilcnik, and Camilo Pallares. Check out our updated FTC LinkTree, which now lists each of our five attendees’ professional profiles at the top of it: https://linktr.ee/ucf.ftc
Our club’s LinkTree is also located on our brand new FTC business card! (Shoutout to Zach for the idea and for setting them up!)
Thanks to the support of each donor over the past few months and to UCF, we’re all covered and set to go on the trip. We’re 100% funded for our:
✅ Hotel costs ✅ Flight tickets and baggage ✅ Registration (we’re each confirmed as volunteers!)
Along the way, though, we did happen to encounter roadblocks. Two of our members had to drop, so our roster went from 7 to 5 attendees. Additionally, very recently our flight got pushed back by a day, so our group will be arriving to the Summit late at night today—a day later than anticipated. Nevertheless, we are expecting things to go smoothly today and to enjoy our time at the main conference events starting this Monday.
If you’ll be at the Summit, we hope to see you there! It would be great to meet up. We’ll be there from Monday to Thursday, so in between our volunteering we’d be happy to say hi, get to know you, and grab a photo.
All that’s left now is to get to Rosemont, Illinois and make the most of the Summit. We’ll have updates on our Instagram and Discord during the trip and are looking forward to all we’ll get to experience. We plan to share our experiences in additional ways post-Summit, too. As always, feel free to connect with us or reach out to our different platforms at https://linktr.ee/ucf.ftc at any time. Next time we have an update, it’ll be by the windy city!
All the best,
John Clement President, Future Technical Communicators at UCF
Historian, Future Technical Communicators club at UCF
The walls of text that make up user agreements like Snapchat and the simple agreement that is relatively user-friendly in terms of getting an account created are thought-provoking. Who are these agreements really for? In order to answer this question, we must understand the basis of these user agreements.
To ensure transparency between companies and their users, it is essential to take a human-centered approach to design the agreements that allow companies to succeed. More technical communicators need to design solutions that can convey critical points of user agreements rather than discouraging users from even attempting to read the agreements in the first place. Do you read them?
For the time being, I have collected some options for users to consider if faced with the problem we have outlined around user agreements.
First off, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can make it hard for third parties to track and capture your data. This bypasses the issue with the comprehensibility of user agreements by encrypting your data and disguising your identity.
Users can also gain skills in identifying keywords within agreements that can give insights into what they relinquish with the acceptance of privacy policies and terms of service. The keywords to look out for will tell you what information the app or website collects, how long it keeps this data, and who they share it with. Keywords include accepting, agree, authorize, retain, and third parties.
Companies might make their agreements more comprehensible through user experience research and design. Simply understanding user expectations, redesigning layouts, including visuals, and writing for comprehension to a broad audience can make a vast difference for users.
This technological mitigation culminates in initiatives and tools that allow for a clear understanding of what data each website or application harvests from its users. The initiative titled Terms of Service; Didn’t Read (ToS; DR) seeks to help fix the “biggest lie on the web” that almost no one reads privacy policies and terms of service before agreeing.
Zachary Miller – Historian, Future Technical Communicators
Zachary P. Miller is an Anthropology major at the University of Central Florida. He leverages his interdisciplinary background to bring human-centered perspectives to understanding contemporary problems in human-computer interaction. Zachary is a UCF Burnett Honors scholar and SURF Fellow. He is the Historian of UCF’s Future Technical Communicators and a research assistant in UCF’s Socio-Technical Interaction Research Lab. After graduating from UCF, Zachary plans to work as a User Experience Researcher.
Or: “We’ve got so many jobs, you don’t even know.”
By Caitlyn Hunter and John Clement
We here at FTC know how hard it can be to be on the job hunt. “Technical Communicator” isn’t a common job title, so we understand the struggle of trying out multiple search phrases and applying endless filters in search programs like LinkedIn or Indeed. The whole process can be exhausting and sometimes discouraging, so we decided to make it a little easier for all of you.
John and I have had many colleagues and friends send in advice, internships, and job opportunities. We have culminated them all here with simple descriptions to allow for easy skimming. There’s no promise that there’s a position here for you, but with 18 openings and many more leads, we hope to help at least some of you get connected with an opportunity you might not have otherwise found.
With all this said, we wish you luck on the job hunt and for finding that perfect position.