IUNTC meeting: What are the qualifications that employers are looking for?

Curriculum development was the focus of the third meeting of the International University Network in Technical Communication (IUNTC). Two presentations provided answers to the question of how technical communication programs can prepare students for the job market.

Text by Daniela Straub Yvonne Cleary


The first presentation revealed how students in other fields of study benefit from the knowledge of technical communication. The second presentation emphasized the growing importance of UX Writing in educational curricula.

The networking opportunities provided by the IUNTC are relevant and interesting for businesses as well as for universities. Almost 30 participants from different countries attended the 1.5 hour meeting and engaged in lively discussions following the presentations. A common goal amongst participants is raising the interest in technical communication, particularly from students of other disciplines.

In the first presentation Dr Marie McCullagh, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, showed how technical communication can be introduced to other professions and integrated into the curriculum of other fields of study. As an example, she introduced participants to a module in Technical Communication for English Language students. First, the module name needed to be attractive for the student target audience. Among several proposals her preferred title was “Writing to Persuade”. Second, the module content also needed to be catchy, important, and useful to students. In this example, topics such as accessibility, understandability and usability, among others, were integrated into the content. Marie concluded that students of other disciplines – or even other professions – can benefit from knowledge and methods in technical communication, but first of all, it is necessary to convince them of its value.

In a flash poll, we asked participants about their experiences with the topic. These are the results of the short survey after the 1st presentation.

In the second presentation, Dr Gustav Verhulsdonck from the Central Michigan University considered technical communication education from a different perspective. Employability is a central concern for graduates. Industry is increasingly seeking experts in UX design and design thinking. Job titles are evolving from Technical Writer or Information Developer to UX Writer. UX Writing can be described as a method that integrates content from technical communication, user experience, content strategy, design thinking and copy writing/product and digital marketing. UX Writers develop content for multiple devices and delivery modes. Students in technical communication trained in UX Writing are even more attractive to future employers.

And here are the results of the short survey after the 2nd presentation. They show the importance of the topic  “UX Writing”.


For more information on the IUNTC and to register to attend future free events register to our newsletter and visit our website www.tekom.eu