In the last couple of articles in this series we have looked at the continuing growth in the use of DITA across the States, and at what appears to be solid evidence that DITA has become a mature platform within many of those same companies. This third and final article in the series looks at the types of companies that are seeking technical writers with DITA experience, and where they are located across the US.
What Types of Firms are Hiring DITA-experienced Technical Writers?
This is a topic I have tackled before, and this time I wanted to see if there have been any significant changes in the make-up and composition of firms. While the majority of firms seeking those with DITA experience are in the software and computer services sector, what I find fascinating is the spread of this technical writing standard into so many other fields.
From the most recent job postings on Indeed.com (with the names of the firms cross-matched to their self-described industry type on LinkedIn), here is the breakdown of the types of firms seeking people with DITA experience:
DITA had its start within the software realm, so it should come as no surprise that it continues to dominate in that field along with the allied Information Technology and Services sector. What I find interesting is the spread of firms in other sectors, which are:
- Computer and Network Security
- Defense and Space
- Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing
- Human Resources
- Marketing and Advertising
- Mechanical or Industrial Engineering
- Medical Devices
- Translation and Localization
While individually the number of firms in these sectors is small, collectively they add up to just over 34% of total, just slightly larger than either of the other two major sectors. DITA clearly has a considerable way to go outside of the software/IT sectors, and it is also clear that it is making significant inroads in these other sectors.
Another sign of the growth of DITA adoption is the fact that 38% of the companies seeking technical writers with DITA experience are not among the list of known adoptees that I have listed (and this is after weeding out the myriad of third-party head-hunting firms out there). I have said before that I think I have only managed to find what I think is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to companies that are using DITA, and this figure backs up that assertion.
In case you were wondering, these additional firms will not be automatically added to the Companies Using DITA listing as I have found in the past that job listings alone do not necessarily indicate that a firm is actively publishing with DITA, as in some cases they have only explored this avenue or are in the process of moving to DITA. The listing aims to show only those organizations that are actively using DITA in their publication process. However, these firms do join an extensive watch-list I have of firms suspected of using DITA, and only if I get independent confirmation will I add them to the list.
Where are the Firms that are Hiring People with DITA Experience?
In a previous survey based on the Companies Using DITA listing, it found that while DITA-related jobs are sprinkled across the country, there were a few key concentrations, located in Southern California, along the East Coast in and a few scattered pockets in Texas, Colorado and Illinois. Not surprisingly these are also key centers for software development and information technology firms.
What do we see this time? Pretty much the same, though it appears as though there is some spread outside of these DITA "hot spots":
Figure 1: DITA-related Jobs Across the US, Sept. 2013
(This same map is available as an interactive version on the BatchGeo website.
While the sample size is relatively small, it is interesting to note there are DITA-related jobs to be found outside of the previously-mentioned hot spots, which can be taken as a sign of DITA adoption outside of its core. At the very least it can be said that the types of firms seeking DITA applicants are widespread across the country. As DITA adoption grows, we should see a more even distribution of firms using it across the United States.
Next article: A look at the relative sizes of the firms that are seeking people with DITA experience, and some concluding thoughts on where DITA seems to be going.
Yellow Pencil (www.yellowpencil.com) provides DITA training services along with information architecture and content strategy services for firms looking to move to structured content for their technical writing and web content teams.