Required skills for technical communicators in cybersecurity
Behles, Jessica E.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this two-phase study was to identify barriers to entry for technical communicators wanting to enter the cybersecurity field. The first phase comprised a content analysis of 100 online job advertisements for technical writers and editors in the cybersecurity field to examine the minimum qualifications sought for these positions, such as minimum education, certifications, technology experience, competencies (hard skills), and characteristics (soft skills). For the second phase, I interviewed five technical communicators already employed in the cybersecurity field to learn more about the qualifications they had entering cybersecurity, their experiences in that field, and their advice for technical communicators wanting to enter cybersecurity. Results indicated that some positions require specialized cybersecurity or technical skills and experience, but the most important skills and qualities are generally communication based, such as writing, editing, or translating complex material into an understandable format. Government security clearances represented a barrier for some jobs, but this was mostly limited to positions with government contractors. The best way technical communicators can prepare for transitioning into cybersecurity is learning about cybersecurity and getting a command of the lingo, writing about cybersecurity topics, and practicing cybersecurity techniques--as well as maintaining their technical communication skill set.
Communication of technical information