The Importance Of Technical Communication

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Studies and surveys have shown that there are major gaps in graduating engineers versus professional engineers. Firms believe students have acquired technical skills, but their technical communications and interpersonal skills are inadequate. (Piirto, 2000)(Wolfe, 2009) These communications and skills translate into the technical documents and presentations, constituting about half of an engineer’s time. (Brandt & Prescott, 2013) With technical communication being such a key component to the success of engineers in the field, it is the responsibility of students and professors to address these inadequacies.

These inadequacies stem from the simple nature of the engineering curricula, with amplification being on technical knowledge versus technical communications and writing. Within this inadequacy, students find themselves perceiving writing as disassociated from their major. (Piirto, 2000)

The Accreditation Board of Engineers (ABET) have recognized this problem and initiated outlines for written communications expectations of students. Within these expectations, students are expected to be able to; communicate effectively, thoroughly and concisely support their purpose, and use visuals to clearly support
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By following the standards of the ABET and supplementing in discipline specific vocabulary terms and citation styles, a speech as a communication tool, collaborative writing, and a more pronounced discussion of visual aspects, students will find themselves more prepared for the field. Industry today wants graduates who can speak well, communicate effectively, and interpret data. By preparing our young engineers for the field, we will inadvertently prepare students of all majors, as all of the recommendations below can stem to all
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