If technical advances are to live up to their potential and actually benefit people, then highly complex technical content must be made comprehensible and viable with target group appropriate communication.
The quality of communication between users of technology and its developers will, in the future, be one of the most important benchmarks with regard to measuring the quality of technical advances. That which is not geared towards users and is not understood by them, won't be bought, supported or accepted and it won't receive political representation. In short: Whatever is not user-friendly will not be used!
This fact is immediately understood when thinking about those technical developments, whose advantages are not entirely obvious at first glance. For instance, the German energy transition plan is certainly viable from a technical point of view, but only specific target group apropriate communication can lead to its general acceptance and to the political will to make it happen.
This crucial junction, where technology and people come together, is the work-place of professionals with technical as well as communication science know-how. Since problems with technology-related communication can only be solved in interdisciplinary dialog, these specialists have to be well-versed in both worlds of thought – humanistic and technical/scientific – in order to be able to act in a confident manner. They use their knowledge and skills to process technical content for a diverse target audience and for different media and tasks, conveying everything in a way that is specifically geared towards the respective target group and medium.
Unique throughout Germany, RWTH's Technical Communication course of study offers students an interdisciplinary program of study that delivers an excellent education by combining the humanities on one hand with engineering aspects on the other. The structure and orientation of this course of study is based on giving the two subjects – Communication Sciences and Technical Science – equal weight, the latter being subdivided into two different disciplines:
The Bachelor program is oriented towards facilitating technical principles and methods. Already in the second semester, students have the opportunity of choosing specific areas of focus with regard to their professional futures. There is a choice between different advanced modules, which are thematically linked to fields of work such as continuing education or management of communications, media and knowledge. Practical experience – whether within or outside of the university setting – is also part of the course of studies.
|Communication Science||Introduction to Linguistics, Introduction to Communication Science, Cognition, Individual and social Environment, Oratory and Discourse Rhethoric, Grammar, Semantics, Pragmatics,Textual Linguistics, History of Technology, Application Fields of Technical-Communication, English|
with Computer Science
|Programming and Data Structures, Basics of Computer Science, Differential and Integral Equations, Linear Algebra, Computer Engineering, Discrete Structures, Practical Computer Science, Operation Systems, Formal Systems, Elective Mathematics, Software Technology, Designing Interactive Systems|
with Mechanical Engineering
Differential and Integral Equations, Linear Algebra, Mechanics, Materials Science, Machine Design, CAD, Computer Science in Mechanical Engineering, Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Quality and Project Management, Metrological lab, and Professional Field-Oriented Topic Modules
You can find details about the program layout in the current examination regulations.
Experts in the communication of technical content possess a dual qualification that is in high demand in the fields of industry and economy. Since these experts are competent in both linguistic communication skills as well as in technical know-how, their work-place can be found where language and technology intersect and where they can function in their role of transfer specialists.
RWTH graduates are particularly active in the areas of conceptual design, organization and editorial practices. They plan and regulate the transmission of information on several different levels – from expert to expert or from expert to layperson. Within companies they are positioned at the junction between departments with diverging specialized knowledge – for instance between production and bookkeeping – or they design and conceptualize materials for continuing education or other training courses. In the field of public relations they develop internet portals and communicative web services or they prepare trade-show materials.
In the area of user experience they analyze the user-friendliness of software programs or user interfaces and on the basis thereof develop quality standards. For instance, they conduct so-called usability tests in order to find weaknesses in the design of user interfaces and to then advise product developers about them.
Communications experts are also employed in the fields of technical documentation and specialized journalism.
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