The Field of Technical Communication and Localization
Traditionally, language and culture experts have taken up work in teaching or translation professions. These professions can be very rewarding in the early stages of their career. After a few years, however, the career tends to reach a flat curve, and one starts to look for alternative career options.
There is good news for professionals looking for a career change. The emergence of the field of technical communication has created an array of new career options for language and culture experts. Additionally, the fields related to technical communication, such as localization, documentation, content management, and marketing, offer further career options for language and culture experts.
What is Technical Communication?
Technical communication means conveying technical information on a variety of topics to a specific target group. The aim is to make the information easily understandable, so the user can safely use the product or service in question. The information product a technical communicator creates can be user manuals for products or services, documentation for a global audience or localization of the content to suit a specific geographical region or country.
Many people associate technical communication with technical writing. With the advent of the Internet, digital tools, and technology, the task of a technical communicator goes way beyond technical writing. A technical communicator’s work involves the analysis, design, and development of information products, as well as implementation, localization, refinement, and documentation. The use of visual communication plays an important role in presenting information in the digital era.
Why is Localization Important?
Multinational companies (MNCs) that operate in global markets often need to distribute their information products across the world. This involves creating the original documents, translating them into multiple languages, and adapting them to the culture of the target market. This work is often done with the help of content management systems (CMS) as well as computer-assisted translation tools (CAT tools) for translation and terminology management.
Hence, an aspiring technical communicator needs to get an overview of the various aspects of technical communication, as well as the digital tools and software systems associated with it.
Building Skills and Qualifications
If you are looking for an introduction to the field of technical communication or an industry-recognized certification, the “Technical Communicator – Professional Level” certification provided by tekom, is a good starting point. Tekom is the largest European professional association of technical communication.
The TCLoc master’s program is tightly linked with tekom. The TCLoc master’s program offers courses in all the important topics in the field of technical communication and localization. With this qualification, it is easy to find jobs and new career options since the field of localization and technical communication grows continuously.
If you are looking for a career change and find this program interesting, do not hesitate! It is time to apply for this year’s July intake. You can contact the program director Dr Renate de la Paix or the program coordinator Ms Valérie Ledermann for further information. They are happy to help you.