“You’ll need to know this in real life!”
How many times has a math, science, or English teacher uttered that phrase? The fact that the phrase begins to be used as early as elementary school makes the line even more ludicrous.
Here’s the truth: the skills and knowledge that you will be required to know is entirely dependent on the profession you choose to enter. Due to that fact, there is a good chance that you won’t need to know how to solve differential equations or write a detailed report.
Individuals who have always hated writing might rejoice at the thought of escaping the endless parades of essays and reports. Before you delve too deeply into your celebration, here’s a bit of bad news: many non-writing professions require detailed written reports on a semi-regular basis.
Individuals who enter certain fields or career paths may be unwary of the very real possibility of having to hone their writing skills on the job, potentially leading to less productivity and more frustration.
Having the knowledge that your career will involve writing can give you the opportunity to utilize one of your electives to help hone your writing skills while in college. Below are four career paths that will require enough writing for students to pursue a writing class.
Social workers do not escape the need to compile written reports when they graduate college. While a huge part of the job requires physically talking to clients, social workers can also expect to exercise their writing muscles throughout their career through a variety of reports.
Social Workers can expect to write:
- Socio-legal reports.
- Psycho-social assessment reports.
- Community assessments.
- Case records.
Police officers are required to write daily reports. According to an interview conducted by Portland State University Criminology and Criminal Justice department, future police officers and detectives should focus on honing their writing skills. Officer Jessica Brainard explains, “You have to be able to document everything that you do because everything officers do is highly scrutinized.”
Police officers can expect to write:
- Investigative reports.
- Arrest reports.
- Clearance reports.
- Intoxication reports.
- Incident reports.
- Evidence collection reports.
Do you have dreams of being a manager? If you see yourself on the management track, you might want to spend a few of your electives on a technical writing class. Managers will find themselves required to write a variety of reports. The types of reports that managers are required to write depends on the field that they are in, but managers can expect to write at least a few of the following documents:
- Client reports.
- Progress reports to superiors.
- Business/Institutional pitches (written reports to propose changes).
- Business emails to employees.
Individuals who plan to either start their own nonprofit or find a job working at a nonprofit can benefit from a technical writing class. Writing skill can help non-profits jump one of the biggest hurdles: acquiring the funds to pay for rent, electricity, employee wages, and pursuing the establishment’s mission.
While fundraising can certainly work for some non-profits, the ability to write in-depth and persuasive grant proposals can increase the chance that you will have the necessary funding to keep the institution afloat. Successful completion of a grant proposal could mean anywhere from $50 to $20,000 awarded to your institution from the federal, state, or local government, as well as a multitude of private institutions.
For many of us, our career requires (or will require) the ability to craft well-written reports.
While you can certainly learn how to write reports on the job, life will be far less stressful if you cultivate your writing skills while still in college. When you finally land a job and you’re breezing through your reports far faster than your colleagues, you’ll thank yourself.
By Samantha Stauf
photo credit: cops in the park : dolores park, san francisco (2013) via photopin (license)