Like many students, you may be surprised and even shocked to learn, that the "ticket" to your future "dream" career may, in fact, be your ability to write clear, concise, error-free prose. According to several reports published by the National Commission on Writing. America's economy has been shifting from one based on "agriculture and industry" to a "service- and knowledge-based economy" (Writing: A Powerful Message 10), and as a result, writing has become a "threshold skill" that many employers are now closely examining when it comes to considering you as an applicant for many of their current and future salaried positions.
Writing in Private Business
According to the April 2004 Congressional Report by the National Commission on Writing, entitled Writing: A Ticket to Work...Or a Ticket Out: A Survey of Business Leaders, the future "individual opportunity in the United States [will depend] critically on the ability to present one's thoughts coherently, cogently, and persuasively on paper" (5). One hundred and twenty major corporations were surveyed that employed a total of nearly eight million people. Among the overall survey results, the report noted the following:
1. Writing is a "threshold skill" for both employment and promotion, particularly for salaried positions. Half of the responding companies report that they take writing into consideration when hiring professional employees. (3)
2. Even among hourly employees [...] between one-fifth and one-third of employees have some writing responsibilities in fast-growing sectors, such as services, FIRE, and construction. (7)
People who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired and are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion. Furthermore, consider the following reported statistics:
1. Two-thirds of salaried employees in large American companies have some writing responsiblity. "All employees must have writing ability...Manufacturing documentation, operating procedures, reporting problems, lab safety, waste-disposal operations -- all have to be crystal clear," said one human resource operator.
2. Eighty percent or more of the companies in the service and finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sectors, the corporations with the greatest employment-growth potential, assess writing during hiring.
3. A similar dynamic is at work during promotions. Half of all companies take writing into account when making promotion decisions. One succinct comment: "You can't move up without writing skills" (3).
In essence, if you have not "refined" and mastered your communication skills (both oral and written) in college, then when you graduate and start sending out your applications, you may find yourself "locked out" of that desired "dream" career. Employers are now spending billions of dollars trying to retrain their employees on how to write clear, concise, error-free sentences. Specifically, American [ Read the rest of the article »]
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