You could also find a mentor in your local STC chapter to guide you.
If you do plan to get a certificate, I think the STC's certificate courses, taught by professionals in the field, will probably prepare you well.
Still, I worry I may have difficulty transitioning from the traditional education environment I've occupied for the last decade into the field without some kind of formal education.
However, I don't want to waste my money pursuing a certificate if it won't be regarded positively within the field.
Dear Tom, I stumbled upon your blog in search of information about becoming a technical writing. degree in English and have been working in education (secondary through college level) for the last 10 years.
I decided to shoot you a quick email in search of a bit of advice. I've also created and edited a creative online literary site and adapted material from the site into a live show that has found success here in Los Angeles, where I currently live.
I'm looking to transition into a new career direction that would combine my expertise in writing with my experience in education.
Technical writing specifically for e-learning platforms seems like it might be a good option for me.
People who maintain their certificate may use the MWC distinction after their names.
The Society for Technical Communication has a three-tiered professional certification program: Foundation, Practitioner, and Expert.