By Marcia Shannon, Membership Manager
We’re ready to welcome to a new year of challenges and opportunities. Wait a minute, that’s every year, isn’t it? Yes, it is, and we have another chance at making good choices. Choosing to be part of the tech comm communities is one of those good.
First of all, thank you, everyone who joined or renewed your membership in STC and IDL. Welcome or welcome back to the many aspects and variations of being a technical communicator. If you have not renewed or joined for the first time, do not despair, you can join right now, or next week or whenever your circumstances favor you taking that step.
When I was thinking about what to report to the IDL Community about the fourth quarter of 2022, these questions popped up: Who are we? Who are these folks who are interested in instructional design? Where do we live and work or work remote from? What hints do our job titles give to explain what we do in our careers? How long have we been involved with STC? As membership manager, I ran our roster through several data filters to discover the answers to those questions. I hope you benefit from these quick views of the IDL community members.
Where are we?
96% of the current IDL members live in North America. The 4% who do not are located in Australia, Austria, Finland, India, Israel, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Arab Emirates.
Who are we?
I was startled and delighted when I ran the numbers by STC Join Date to find that 55% of our members joined STC in the last five years and 70% joined in the last ten years. Community joining dates are not recorded in the database, so this does not reflect time as an IDL community member. The earliest Join Date in our community is 1980.
What do we do?
Job titles vary wildly. About one-third of our members did not provide their job titles or employer names, so these next figures represent the two-thirds who did share that information. Of the 151 different job titles:
- 85% include all of the possible combinations of writer, editor, analyst, designer, developer, project manager, and translator.
- 14% were instructional designers, corporate trainers, or educators (from lecturers to full professors).
- 33% are managers, from department to C-suite positions and owners/proprietors.
What did I learn from all this slicing and dicing?
I learned that Tech Comm is a huge tent where every sort of communication mode or technique or process is accommodated and shared. I am excited to be able to meet and work with so many varied talents in infinite combinations. I hope you will feel that same excitement to be a part of the IDL community.