Because many people enjoy writing and view careers in the writing and editing industry in a favorable light, competition for these jobs is fierce. This statement also applies to technical writing. During the dot-com boom of the 1990s, countless software companies were actively recruiting technical writers. Indeed, at this time, there was a shortage of technical writers. Consequently, the industry as a whole was less competitive, and finding contracts and jobs was quite easy for qualified technical writers.
Since the dot-com bust, there is no denying that technical writing has become more competitive. Former Silicon Valley employees are now competing for technical writing jobs, and the global nature of today's marketplace has put American freelance technical writers in a position where they have to compete with freelancers living in both North America and other parts of the world.
There is, however, a lot of good news. First, it can be assumed that technical writing is probably not as competitive as fiction writing or magazine writing. There are countless aspiring authors and journalists trying to break into these fields. Many might view technical writing in a negative light because it doesn't involve the same level of creativity as other types of writing. Furthermore, most wouldn't have the level of technical knowledge necessary to succeed in the field even if they wanted to. Also, software companies are not the only ones that need technical writers - the aerospace industry, financial industry, and chemical industry are also big employers. The dot-com bust had a big impact on the technical writing industry, but it didn't destroy it. Finally, even with the dot-com bust, the demand for technical writers is projected to grow over the next several years, offering more opportunities and reducing competition. In short, technical writing is competitive, but with the right education and skills, it is likely that any dedicated and professional individual will be able to break into the field and establish a highly-successful career as a freelancer or a full-time employee.
Last Updated: 05/05/2014