Sources close to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics report that the DL will incorporate a new entry in the Jobs Outlook Handbook, displacing the current description of Technical Writer as one of the high-growth potential occupations through 2020.
Spokesperson Lotta M. Alarkey would neither confirm or deny the displacement of Technical Writer by Cat Herder in the Jobs Outlook Handbook, but did indicate that the new description was under final review by JOH editors, due to “the extraordinary growth in this discipline, to support communication-disabled subject matter experts and visually impaired project managers, which have also seen a surprising increase in both public and private sectors over the last two years.”
Technical writers, also called technical communicators, produce instruction manuals and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information among customers, designers, and manufacturers.
The proposed entry reads in part “Cat herders, also called information chunkers, manage groups of subject matter experts to group technically accurate information about complex, unimplemented products into moderately sized topics for dissemination to internal and external audiences. They may also be responsible for roping project managers into corrals for formal review sessions.
The Bureau also notes that growth for cat herders is expected to be 25 percent, well above average growth rates, through 2020. Alarkey pointed out that a final decision on the new entry is not expected until after publication of the 2014 edition of the handbook due to delays in receiving public commentary.