“If you want to become a technical writer, get an engineering degree.”
I believe there is much truth to this statement. Technical writing does not rely on writing skills so much as an understanding of material. While a technical education may not necessarily be a job requirement for technical writing, it would almost certainly be more valued by employers than creative writing. However, if you choose this route, keep in mind that any writing opportunity is going to pay less than other options in your field.
This advice is mostly applicable to recent graduates or those just starting out. Once you’re in a field, it really doesn’t matter if you majored in music, happy baby birds or only have a high school education. If you can slap 5 years of experience on the table in, say, pharmaceutical technical wtiting, you are pretty much golden.
I am not one to put down a creative writing degree, for as long as you are resourceful and determined, you can find something to suit your needs. Many journalistic opportunities, for example, prefer a journalism/mass communication background, but they will gladly accept a talented creative writer.
Technical writers, feel free to comment and share your career path!