B.S. Technical Communication
The Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication provides students a hands-on approach to becoming a professional in the field of technical communication. Our program's emphasis on digital environments means our graduates can work as technical content developers, visual information designers, technical writers, user experience researchers, grant writers and digital accessibility specialists. The goal of our program is to create students who can easily adapt information so audiences can understand new concepts and complex ideas.
Our approach to technical communication merges technical knowledge and information design with an ultimate focus on understanding your audience. Students will take classes in introductory and advanced technical communication, user research, front-end development and visual design.
Why should I study technical communication?
Have you ever tried to get help using software or an app, but the instructions were confusing and the illustrations were impossible to decipher or nonexistent? If so, you understand the importance of technical communication done well.
We all deal with complex processes, terminology and products in our life. Technical communicators write text to make it easier for people to understand new and unfamiliar subjects. They also can design graphics or create videos to help people to easily understand complex topics.
Technical communicators – including technical writers, user experience (UX) designers, grant writers, web accessibility specialists, usability researchers, technical illustrators, user experience researchers and digital accessibility specialist – help organizations communicate in an understandable way with others. If your customer can’t understand how to use your product, they are less likely to buy from you in the future. If a patient doesn’t understand a doctor’s instructions for care after surgery, they are more likely to experience complications. Technical communicators help engineers, doctors, scientists and others who deal with specialized and technical information to communicate with the general public in a way that they can understand.
What do people with a degree in technical communication do?
- Interview engineers and product designers to find out how things work so they can communicate that knowledge to customers and users
- Develop how-to articles and instructions that highlight a product
- Design illustrations, diagrams and charts to make concepts more understandable
- Produce video tutorials to explain unfamiliar topics
- Learn about technology and other subjects and use that knowledge to make the topics accessible to the average person
- Create online learning modules that help people understand new processes and procedures
How do I know if a degree in technical communication is for me?
- Do you have a knack for explaining complicated subjects to others?
- Are you a good writer?
- Do you like layout, design and visuals?
- Do you like talking to and interviewing people?
- Do you like to organize images, words and ideas?
- Do you look at online instructions and think, I could have done that better?
- Are you the person who always finds the typo?
- Do you enjoy technology, science and finding out how things work?
Why should I choose KSU for a bachelor’s degree in technical communication?
The Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication program at KSU gives students the hands-on experience and education they need to become professionals in the fields of user experience (UX) design, technical writing, instructional design and more.
In our program, you will learn to analyze your audience, gain experience with the technology you will be using on the job, and discover techniques to make content understandable to the end user. By focusing on specific courses within our program, you can develop your skills in line with your own interests and career goals.
As a Technical Communication major at KSU, you will learn to:
- Analyze your audience and task to inform your technical writing and design
- Develop your skills with a variety of software programs and tools for technical communicators
- Advocate for the end-user in your work through making appropriate design choices and testing for usability
- Create technical communication products that meet the needs of the audience
Include ethical practices for developing and delivering your work
Our faculty bring both workplace best practices and academic expertise to your technical communication classes at KSU. You can expect coursework that combines current theory with real-world applications; you’ll also be prepared for the job market with your own custom portfolio and industry-ready job materials.
What kind of job can I get with a degree in Technical Communication?
Our program has a digital emphasis, so our graduates can work as:
- User experience (UX) designers who make technology usable and enjoyable
- Data visualization specialists who help to communicate complicated statistics and data
- Technical writers who create technical documents that simplify complex topics
- Instructional designers who design educational courses and student manuals or guides
- Grant writers who research, draft and submit proposals that help organizations or individuals receive funding
- Web accessibility specialists who conduct assessments of a website’s functionality
- Usability researchers who test user interfaces to learn the users’ behavior and identify problems or needed improvements
- Technical illustrators who prepare detailed drawings to help people understand scientific or technical information
- Technical editors who plan, review and revise content for technical publications
- Technical publications managers who manages writing projects, provides editorial support and develops content for technical publications
- Technology transfer specialists who help an idea conceived by scientists to become a product for sale
- Knowledge managers who promote and use the company’s knowledge assets and information
- Content managers who organize, standardize and prioritize an organization’s content
Documentation specialists who store, secure, catalogue and retrieve a company’s documents
Do you help with job placement?
Technical communication graduates are in demand in the greater Atlanta area and beyond. Our department has a growing network of companies and employers that seek out our students each year.
To assist students in finding a job, KSU hosts a Student Career Portal offering a list of position our students can consider. In addition, students take a professional development class which helps them to create their job materials, learn about job-seeking practices and prepare for interviews.
What classes will I take?
Following are the courses you will take to get your degree in technical communications, including options to customize your degree to what interests you. See the KSU Undergraduate Catalog for full information on courses and the credit hours necessary to graduate.
- ICT 2101: Information and Communication Technology. Students learn and explore more about what it means to be informed users of digital technologies.
- TCID 2002: Productivity Tools and Technologies. Students learn the basics of the Microsoft productivity tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Core tools of the Adobe Suite, including Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, are also covered.
- TCID 2170: Introduction to Digital Media and Culture. Students learn about the technical communication profession and its relationship to an information society, human-centered design and design thinking.
- TCOM 2010: Technical Writing. Students learn the basics of technical writing and practice developing multiple information products, delivering oral presentations, and working collaboratively.
- TCOM 2030: Research in Technical Communication. Students learn the basics of research methods, with a focus on workplace and user research.
- TCOM 3011: Technical Writing II. Students build on their knowledge of technical writing and explore advanced styles, techniques and genres used by technical communication practitioners.
- TCID 3100: Professional Development. This class prepares students for professional networking situation, company meetings and interviews. Job material development and job-seeking practices situate students for their first career position.
- TCOM 3130: Technical Communication. Theory, Ethics and Practice. Students learn the background on how technical communication emerged as a discipline, future directions for the field and ethical practices relevant to our work.
- TCID 3400: Front-End Development I. Students create a website without relying on content management systems or templates.
- TCOM 3431: Information Design I. Students learn the principles and best practices of effective technical information design for both print and electronic media.
- TCOM 4000: Technical Editing. Students learn the methods and skills needed to edit various types of technical and scientific products (print and digital).
- TCID 4700: Project Portfolio. This is a professional technical communication presentation and career preparation class with an end-of-semester showcase of student work.
OTHER COMMUNICATION TOPICS CLASSES (Choose one)
- COM 2033: Visual Communication. Students learn about visual awareness and processing as key elements in effective communication.
- STS 1101: Science, Technology, and Society. Students gain the knowledge and tools to critically examine the development and integration of science, technology and society and the complex social, ethical and moral choices presented by modern science and technology in human relationships.
- TCOM 2050: Issues in Digital Accessibility. Students gain an overview of the technological needs and laws for accommodating persons with disabilities, including the assistive technologies available.
ELECTIVES IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Advanced Web Development
TCID 3800 & TCID 4500: Front-End Development II & III. In these advanced classes in web development, students learn more advanced techniques and engage in programming and other higher-end competencies.
Information Design and Development
- TCOM 3011: Advanced Technical Writing
- TCOM 3020: Designing Effective Proposals
- TCOM 3046: Information Architecture
- TCOM 3145: Designing Social Media Infrastructure
- TCOM 4431: Information Design II
Several of these classes are advanced versions of earlier offerings. Others introduce technical communication students to specialized areas of information design and development.
- TCOM 3030: Instructional Design
- TCOM 3070: User Assistance
- TCOM 4045: Multi-Media for Technical Communicators
- TCOM 4050: Instructional Video for Technical Communicators
Technical communication students learn to develop materials that enable people to complete tasks from the complex to the everyday.
Applied Research/User Research
- TCOM 3245: SEO and Analytics for Technical Communicators
- TCOM 4120: Usability Testing
These research classes each have a specific focus. TCOM 3245 has students use the websites they created in TCOM 3400 for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analytics research. TCOM 4120 engages students in user experience (UX) and introduces them to testing methods.
- TCOM 3398: Internship
- TCOM 4400: Directed Study
- TCOM 4490: Special Topics in Technical Communication
These classes provide students with unique hands-on and customized learning experiences. Internships are for-credit work experience classes, while Directed Studies allow students to pursue individual topics of interest with a professor. Special Topics classes introduce students to timely, cutting-edge content.
Will courses I’ve taken at a different college transfer into the Technical Communication program?
Many courses taken at an accredited college or university can be transferred toward a degree in Technical Communication. For information on transferability of credits, please check our Transfer Articulation Search Engine.
Transcripts should be submitted to KSU directly from the institution you attended. Allow ample time for receipt and processing of all documents. Processing time varies based on the number of applicants and the time of year.
Click here to find out more information on transferring to KSU.
How much does it cost to attend and is financial aid available?
Kennesaw State University is an affordable school and gives you a quality education at a tuition rate that is lower than the average college in Georgia and in the United States. Learn more about current tuition rates.
Financial aid is available through a variety of grants, scholarships, loans and a work study program. Applying for financial aid isn't as complex as you might imagine. For step-by-step resources, visit the Office of Financial Aid website. Start the process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available October 1st for the following fall term. (You do not have to wait until you are admitted to file a FAFSA.)
Contact KSU's Office of Financial Aid at (770) 423-6074 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on financial aid options.
Will I complete an internship?
The Technical Communication and Interactive Design Department provides all students with an opportunity to earn internship class credit. An internship is a valuable form of “learning by doing.” Internships can help you in many important ways.
What are the benefits of an internship?
- Gain professional experience related to user experience (UX) design, grant writing, instructional design, technical writing or another career in technical communication
- Apply technical communication knowledge learned in the classroom to workplace situations
- Network with professionals in technical communication
- Bolster your academic learning with workplace experience
- Make extra money
- Create pieces for your personal portfolio
Internships that our students have had in the past include:
Home Depot, Google, Aya, Aaron's, SITA, Georgia Pacific and Travelport
Titles range from UX designer, UX Researcher, Technical Writer, Information Designer, and Technical Communication Specialist.
What kind of groups or clubs are available?Technical Communication majors can take advantage of the over 400 student clubs, covering a wide range of interests and activities that exist at KSU. Find one that interests you at Owl Life.
Will there be opportunities for me to conduct research?Many of the classes in the Technical Communication program will introduce you to research, especially research that focuses on end users or workplace situations. Students may also pursue independent research for credit under the supervision of a faculty member.
How and when do I apply to KSU?
We are delighted that you are considering applying to Kennesaw State! You can apply easily online. If you have any questions, please contact admissions via phone at (770) 423-6300 or email at KSUadmit@kennesaw.edu, and they’ll be happy to help.
- Fall Semester: June 1
- Spring Semester: December 1
- Summer Semester: June 1
When will I know if I’m accepted?You will receive a decision notification via email. (Ask admissions) During peak application periods, it may take longer than expected to receive a decision notification. After submitting your application, you can click here to check your status online.
Can I visit the campus?
Yes! We’d love to have you visit. Tours are available in person for individuals and groups, and we offer virtual visits. Find out more about tours or take a virtual tour at visit.kennesaw.edu.
Who do I contact for further information?We are happy to answer any further questions you have about our technical communication program. Contact the Technical Communication and Interactive Design Department at email@example.com or (470) 578-7202.