What can LinkedIn tell us about the number of Technical Authors in the UK?

As there are no official statistics recording the number of people employed as Technical Authors in the UK, we have to make some educated guesses to get a sense of the size. Searching LinkedIn might provides some useful information.

In LinkedIn’s advanced search page, if we search the job title field for Technical Author, LinkedIn states there are 5,297 people who match this search. This would include past job titles as well as current job titles. Searching on just current job titles, LinkedIn provides 2,109 results for Technical Author. Searching on just past job titles, LinkedIn provides 2,528 results for Technical Author. It’s not clear why those two figures don’t add up to 5,297.

One of the difficulties is that people use a variety of different job titles. In addition to the 2,109 results for Technical Author, we can add the people who have these current job titles in the UK:

  • Technical Writer – 603
  • Technical Communicator – 28
  • Information Developer –  21
  • Documentation Manager – 394

That makes a total of 3,155.There may be other job titles people are using in addition to these, which would increase the numbers further.

There were over 19 million registered LinkedIn users in the United Kingdom, as of the 3rd quarter of 2015 (source), out of a UK working population of 30 million people (source), which means it’s unlikely every Technical Author has a profile on LinkedIn.

It seems reasonable to conclude there are more than 3,200 Technical Authors in the UK, but possibly not more than 5,000.

Is your Technical Author a “Quant” or a “Pundit”?

The US Presidential elections have just ended, and the big winners were the “Quants” – the statisticians such as Nate Silver, who used statistical models of big data sets to accurately predict the electoral college vote results. In competition with the Quants were the “Pundits”. These were the commentators on politics, some of whom said they were using gut feel to make their predictions. Pretty much all of the Pundits failed to predict the results accurately.

It is our experience that there is a similar difference between different Technical Publications teams.

Continue reading