Technical Communication

Degree:
Location: Anywhere

Why Technical Communication?

The Master of Science in Technical Communication is designed to help students improve the technical communication skills needed in today’s diverse workplace, across a variety of disciplines and professions.

Technical communication is a well-established field with a broad range of career opportunities. There is an ongoing need for expert communications professionals who can convey technical information to various types of audiences in different formats. Our online master’s degree is designed to improve your technical communication skills needed in today’s diverse workplace and provide you the opportunity to use those skills across a variety of disciplines and professions. With three concentrations to choose from, this graduate degree in technical communication can help advance your career in technical communication as a technical writer, usability expert, content strategist, or technical trainer.

 


More Details

Unique Features

  • Gain both practical knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of theory
  • Choose from three concentrations to specialize your focus
  • Industry-aligned faculty with in-depth topic knowledge
  • The online format provides flexibility and an interactive experience for working professionals
  • Classes run all year. You can start the program when it is convenient for you: fall, winter, spring, or summer

Program Objectives

  • Strengthen your ability to write clear and accurate technical information
  • Learn how to create end-user and developer documentation
  • Build on your editing skills to effectively edit both your work and the work of others
  • Understand the legal, ethical, and cultural issues pertaining to technical communication
  • Become familiar with the latest tools in the technical communication workplace
  • Discover how to design and create technical information for specific audiences
  • Acquire usability, user experience, instructional design, and content strategy techniques that are often required in this increasingly diverse field
  • Learn the nature and practical application of working within globally dispersed teams

Career Outlook

As companies diversify the way they convey technical and scientific information, technical communicators who can successfully convey this information to the people who need it enjoy solid job prospects. According to a study by the American Association of American Colleges and Universities, 89 percent of prospective employers value effective written and oral communication skills more than any other skill. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment of technical writers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, primarily due to the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information as well as the growing presence of customer service and web-based product support networks.

Unique Transfer Credit Opportunities

About the Certified Professional Technical Communication-Foundation Opportunity:

Why consider a graduate degree from Northeastern University? We recognize the knowledge and competencies demonstrated by those earning their Certified Professional Technical Communicator-Foundation through the Society of Technical Communication. As a result, Certified Professional Technical Communicators have the unique opportunity to accelerate through the Master of Science in Technical Communication program by applying this credential in exchange for transfer credit.  

Successful applicants with their Certified Professional Technical Communicator-Foundation: 

  • Will receive 4 quarter hours of transfer credit - an 8% savings in tuition
  • Will complete only 4 required courses rather than 5 
  • Transfer credit is awarded for the following course: TCC 6100 Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing

What you'll study

General Requirements

Master of Science in Technical Communication General Requirements

46 total quarter hours required.

TCC 6100 - Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing
4.00
TCC 6102 - Editing Technical Content
4.00
TCC 6110 - Information Architecture
4.00
TCC 6120 - Usability and User Experience
4.00

The following course should be taken last:

TCC 6850 - Technical Communications Capstone Project
4.00

Open Electives

Choose a combination of 8-10 quarter hours of electives from the list below and any courses from the concentration course lists:

TCC 6480 - Instructional Design for Technical Communicators
4.00
TCC 6630 - Introduction to XML
2.00
TCC 6640 - Wiki-Based Documentation
2.00
TCC 6495 - Document Design
2.00
 

Concentration

If students prefer to focus their studies on a particular concentration, they may select 16-18 quarter hours from one of the concentrations and complement their studies with 8-10 quarter hours of elective courses, to meet the minimum 46-hour degree requirement.

Students are not required to complete a concentration. Any combination of 26 quarter hours from concentration and elective courses will satisfy degree requirements

Concentrations

Concentration in Computer Industry Writing

Complete four of the following:

TCC 6430 - Writing for the Computer Industry
4.00
TCC 6440 - Advanced Writing for the Computer Industry
4.00
TCC 6400 - Structured Documentation
4.00
TCC 6450 - Managing Technical Publications
4.00
TCC 6410 - Online Documentation
4.00
 

Concentration in Social Media and Online Communities

Required Course

TCC 6710 - Content Strategy
4.00

Complete 12-14 quarter hours from the following:

CMN 6035 - Legal, Policy, and Ethical Issues in the Digital Era
3.00
CMN 6045 - Leveraging Digital Technologies: Strategy, Assessment, and Governance
3.00
CMN 6065 - Implementation and Management of Social Media Channels and Online Communities
3.00
DGM 6285 - Interactive Marketing Fundamentals
4.00
DGM 6290 - Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation
4.00
   

Concentration in Usability/ User Experience

Choose any combination of the following courses to complete 16 quarter hours:

TCC 6710 - Content Strategy
4.00
TCC 6470 - Web Accessibility for Technical Communicators
4.00
DGM 6268 - Usable Design for Mobile Digital Media
4.00
TCC 6610 - Prototyping
2.00
TCC 6620 - Collecting User Data
2.00
TCC 6420 - Information Design for the Web
4.00
TCC 6490 - Usability Testing for Technical Communicators
4.00
 

Did You Know?

Employment of technical writers is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Options

The Master of Science in Technical Communication offers 3 concentrations, allowing students to align their studies with their personal interests and career goals. 

Average Time to Completion

1-2 Years

Commitment

Full-Time
Part-Time

Entry Terms

Fall
Spring
Summer
Winter

Visa Eligible

No