DSF Pushing Standards For Higher Ed, And I Have No Idea Why

October 1, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The Digital Signage Federation’s Education and Standards Committees, which has academics and industry people on it, has established a set of standards to guide universities, colleges, and specialty schools on how to “develop or incorporate digital signage into their curricula.”

There are courses and curricula in many universities, community colleges, and technical schools that already incorporate elements that would contribute to developing a specialty track, certification program, or full degree program, that could lead to careers in digital signage.

Students can also use these standards to develop an interdisciplinary degree program that will provide them with a solid foundation for a career in digital signage.

These standards, which will be updated regularly to account for changes within the industry, will also help ensure that there is a labor pool of qualified candidates for employment within the digital signage industry. As we continue to grow, the DSF believes that it is imperative that employers (our members) have qualified entry-level choices of personnel to be able to grow their businesses affordably.

The DSF says:

Key topics incorporated in the new standards by the DSF’s Education and Standards Committees include:

“The National Standards for Digital Signage Education,” says DSF chairman Alan Brawn, “is an exciting initiative as it represents the first time in the history of our industry that standards for a digital signage curricula in higher education has been developed.  Education is the lifeblood of advancing and furthering our industry and as we progress and move forward, it is vital for us to encourage schools to develop comprehensive programs in digital signage so that a well-educated pipeline of talent is available to organizations. Our hope is that by providing common ground to work from, and receiving input from both academia and industry professionals, we can continue to grow and improve the National Standards.”

Who Cares???

So … I really, really don’t want to dump on well-intentioned volunteer efforts, but:

  1. Who cares? There is already one school in Sweetwater, Texas teaching digital signage stuff. Do we really think programs would be sprouting like weeds around the country if only there were standards??? And that jobs are going unfilled?
  2. There’s no end of training and industry “expert” certification already out there, particularly by DSF Chairman Brawn and his son.
  3. The big yawning hole in education is not at the post-secondary level … it’s in the sales cubicles of endless AV and IT systems integrators who haven’t a clue how to effectively sell more than the components of these solutions. It’s also with the analog sign people, the interactive crowd, agencies, and people who design and spec physical spaces.

There is no labor shortage in this sector. There is definitely a buyer shortage, and that starts with work teaching the “channel” and logical partners how to pitch this in a way end-users will understand and care about.

So again … the effort is appreciated, but I’m not sure why they bothered.

Endlessly kooky industry.


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