Off-Shoring

Responses: Overall, certainly not everyone sees jobs moving out of North America. Individual responses relating to off-shoring include the following: Not nearly as much in the past 12 months as I've seen in the previous three-four years. Not from here, unless the position can't be staffed. The job market in Alberta is hot, hot, hot: billions of dollars in oil sands development is scheduled for the next 10-12 years. Firms can't find the skilled workers they need fast enough. I haven't heard anything one way or the other. Several permanent positions have been posted that require extensive experience in various fields/software and request "deadline-oriented" and "dedicated" people. These descriptions often translate to "tight deadlines" and "unpaid overtime" in my dictionary. I seem to be finding opportunities for contract work. I have not seen much usability work moving "offshore" but I know others who have firsthand experienced with this. After being downsized last year, I noticed that contract work and off shoring had taken its toll on the tech writing field. Salaries are also way down and at age 45, I am considered a senior citizen at my company. I see that pure technical writing is going overseas. We do not hire more writers when someone leaves; we just send their work to India (which is not necessarily a good thing). I used to work on one product and now I handle 10 and have a support team in India helping with the process of getting the documentation into the build. This method seems to work well, I write and they do all the other work. But I have now taken 10 jobs and rolled them into one. Business focus: Business, marketing, and technical communications (NOT software or hardware user documentation) for people who teach, sell, or inform: white papers, classroom and handbook instruction, survey and business case study reports, and web copy. Geographic area: Denver and environs. No, not any. Because of the nature of my work, I don't think it is suitable for export. I live in Florence, South Carolina. I've been in technical communication since 1998. There is only one company in town that employs technical writers, and the pay is so low they can't keep anyone. Last year, I had a contract in the Research Triangle-Raleigh-Durham, NC, area, which meant I had to live away from home during the week. I can also drive to Columbia, SC, which is an hour or hour-and-a-half away, one way, depending on where the job is in Columbia. Currently I have a contract in Columbia. I see very few jobs advertised for full-time, "permanent" positions. There are sometimes several contract positions, sometimes none at all, in Columbia--it seems to be rather cyclical. I have no direct experience with work moving out of North America, but I have friends and colleagues who do. You didn't ask, but let me add that telecommuting positions appear to be as rare as fur on fish; I have never found a situation where it was supported, and only one where it was even considered. Through my work with the local St. Catharines - Thorold Chamber of Commerce that represents 1,000 local businesses, I am pleased to find that there are some technical writing jobs here in the Niagara Region. This is an agricultural and tourism area, so even though high-tech is not big, there is still some demand for it. As well, I am seeing that there are plenty of permanent and contract jobs advertised in the STC Toronto Job Bank. I haven't noticed that jobs are going overseas, but do not think I am connected with the larger firms where that might be happening.