Are you interested in getting a job or launching your own business as a technical writer? Do you work in a technical field and want to advance your writing skills? Are you interested in getting feedback on your writing from an OSU writing instructor?
Our online Technical Writing Certificate is designed to help you build targeted skills through a series of courses that each focus on a specific skillset. Take any of the technical writing courses individually to gain just the training you need or complete the series to earn your certificate and launch your technical writing career!
The online Technical Writing Certificate series includes the following component courses, which may be taken together or individually:
Please note that the Free Intro to Technical Writing class is self-paced and not required to receive a certificate. If you are new to technical writing, it is recommended that you complete this course and also take the other courses in the order outlined here.
In these targeted courses, you’ll build knowledge and skills to help you:
The online technical writing courses don’t focus intensely on any specific tools in this program. Rather, the focus is on the writing itself and how to produce high-quality technical writing. This isn’t to say that the course does not discuss the common tools that are used, but rather it does not spend time training on them.
The projects in the online Technical Writing program are self-contained, you will not need to collaborate for group work or to find an external individual to work with.
The Technical Writing program costs the same regardless of where you are from. And there are no restrictions on location, so you can complete this certificate anywhere in the world.
The technical writing series is entirely asynchronous, which means there are no specific dates or times when you need to be online and there are no live meetings. There are assignments due weekly that can be completed at any time during the week prior to their due date.
Newcomers to the technical writing field are welcome and encouraged to complete the certificate program. If you are brand new to technical writing, it is recommended you take the free, self-paced Intro to Tech Writing course first.
The online Technical Writing Certificate is entirely asynchronous, which means there are no specific dates or times when you need to be online and there are no live meetings. There are assignments due weekly that can be completed at any time during the week prior to their due date.
Each Technical Writing Course is four weeks long, and there are five courses in the program. However, the courses do not typically run back-to-back, so you will not be in class for 20 weeks straight. Students typically finish this program in a little under a year and gain their certificate in technical writing.
Anyone is welcome to join the program and there are no prerequisites. All you must do to participate is register.
All five courses are required to receive your certificate in technical writing. You are not required to take all the courses in the series, but you must complete all of them to earn the certificate. Please note that you may not take the Portfolio course until after you have completed the four core courses.
Due to the technical writing program's popularity, we typically extend the registration date for a week after the course begins. However, once each course reaches capacity, the registration window effectively closes.
This certificate program is a non-credit program. Though it is taught by OSU instructors, a degree is not needed to register. So, even though a degree is not needed, it can be ideal for someone looking to supplement their degree.
"I definitely feel more confident about technical writing after deciding to take this course. Technical writing is an important field of communication that should not be neglected by anyone wishing to broaden their skills in today's high-tech work place. The class is presented in a clear, straight-forward and professional manner. Kudos to Rich Collins for his ability to make a specialized field of writing accessible to anyone."
"The instructor was awesome. She replied promptly to my inquiries and was always ready to help with any problems. Her grading was quick and almost immediate. helpful"
"This course was great - I really, really enjoyed it. The learning materials were focused and applicable. Best part? I looked forward to the weekly modules and assignments. I felt that I learned something new, could apply it directly to each weekly assignment (reinforcement) and then immediately apply it to the writing I do at work. Adult learners tend to want to know, "What's in it for me?" For me, the fact that the concepts and techniques applied immediately to my job meant a lot. No wasted time; just focused instruction."
Liz Delf (MA, Oregon State University '11) developed and piloted the Career Preparation for English Majors course in 2017. She teaches writing across the university and beyond, including sections for the Honors College, INTO, the Beijing Normal University Summer Program, and an INTEL Technical Writing Boot Camp. Courses regularly taught at OSU include English Composition, Argumentation, Technical Writing, Writing in Business, and Intro to Literature: Fiction.
Emily Elbom is a writing instructor at Oregon State University. Emily has an MA in English from the University of North Dakota and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Oregon State University. Courses regularly taught at OSU include Technical Writing, Technical Writing for English Language Learners, Engineering Specific Technical Writing, Business Writing, Writing for the Media and more.
Erin Dalton has a background in technical writing, editing, and instructional design. She holds an MA in Professional Communication and a BA in English. Past courses taught include Technical Editing & Style, Technical & Presentation Writing, Business & Administrative Writing, and Brand Development. She has also developed and facilitated technical communication trainings for engineers and scientists at a Department of Energy national laboratory.