We at Boise State see technical communication as a humanistic discipline; that is, we approach it as a set of principles, tools, and practices that enable people to communicate with each other for mutual benefit. Technical communication is a major means by which people navigate through a high-tech world, but our emphasis always remains on the needs of people.
What is technical communication?
Technical communicators communicate with, for, and about technology.
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) defines technical communication as a field in which professionals communicate “about technology,” “by using technology,” and by “providing instructions about how to do something.” At Boise State, this means that students are given practical, rhetorical, and theoretical knowledge about how to write with and about technical, scientific, medical, and/or environmental topics by using modes and technologies such as websites, graphics, text, audio, video, and more. Students in the technical communication program at Boise State become experts in learning about technical or scientific information and then communicating that information to everyday audiences.
Virtually everyone who holds a job does some technical communication, but there are some 50,000 technical communicators in the United States who are specialists in creating, shaping, and transmitting technical information so that people can use it safely, effectively, and efficiently. Although most of the courses in our program involve high-technology tools, the core of technical communication is clear written and oral communication. The study of ethics is fundamental in our approach to technical communication: the writer’s understanding that the people who read and use the information must be treated with dignity, as people rather than simply as users. Also fundamental is the writer’s awareness that technical communication can affect various constituencies—from co-workers to customers to the general public—and even the environment itself.
Why earn a degree in Tech Comm at Boise State University?
- You will learn valuable skills relevant to today’s changing workplace.
- Our graduate program caters specifically to working professionals with flexible evening, hybrid, and face-to-face courses.
- Our faculty-to-student ratio is low.
- We are located in Idaho’s state capital, providing excellent networking and employment opportunities.
Boise: A Place of Opportunity for Tech Comm Majors
Boise is Idaho’s capital city and largest metropolitan area, with over 300,000 residents. In the Boise area, there are more than a hundred technical communicators. Many work for large corporations such as Micron Technology or Hewlett-Packard, but a number are employed by smaller hardware or software companies. Locally, the expansion in the high technology and service sectors in the Boise area ensures continuing high demand for technical communicators. In addition, many technical communicators work for state and federal agencies. Because there are numerous internship opportunities for technical communication in the Boise area, many of our technical communication graduates take full-time positions with organizations for which they interned. The median income for technical communicators in the northwest is $61,000.