TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Flashback Friday: Inside a Doomsday Survival Luxury Condo
In this first edition of Flashback Friday, go deep within a 1960s missile silo to this doomsday-ready condo community complete with audio, video and iPad-friendly Crestron automation.
 2 of 5
17-Foot Projection Screen at Heart of Company's Collaboration Strategy
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. embraces collaboration in ambitious technology renovation of a historic Boston building.
 3 of 5
Inside the Installation: 'BioWall' is Outdoor HD Masterpiece
United Therapeutics’ BioWall is a 16' by 9' state of the art HD video wall designed to relax, educate, and inspire passersby 24 hours a day.
 4 of 5
University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions
With stunning AV systems installed by CompView Audio Visual, this school's new athletic center is unlike any other.
 5 of 5
Video Gallery: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Soaks the Industry
In the last couple weeks, the AV industry has stepped up to participate in the fight against ALS -- and dump freezing cold water on the heads of their bosses and colleagues. Here's CI's roundup of Ice Bucket Challenge videos, the AV edition.
Let’s End the Debate Over the Value of Certification
If you think technology certification is too expensive, time-consuming and lacks bang for your marketing buck, you're missing the point.

Article


February 05, 2013 | by Tom LeBlanc

Every industry has its hot-button issues. In the commercial integration industry, people get pretty worked up about the value of investing time and money into achieving certification.

Commercial Integrator entered the debate with “State of Industry Certification,” as part of our 2013 State of the Industry coverage. When I assigned the piece to editor-at-large D. Craig MacCormack, I asked him to weigh the common criticisms - such as that it’s too expensive, time-consuming and clients don’t know what InfoComm, CompTIA , ESPA, BICSI , etc., are anyway - against the pro-certification arguments.

The article is informative and objective, but I’m not very objective when it comes to this topic.

This is an industry that struggles with identity. Clients can’t describe what exactly it is that an integration firm does. Integrators themselves complain about low-level competition, trunk slammers, bringing down the industry’s professionalism.

What’s more professional, more identifiable than a certification?

I don’t buy the argument that an InfoComm Certified Technology Specialist moniker isn’t valuable because clients don’t know what it means.

Why don’t clients know what it means?

Why haven’t you effectively educated prospective clients on the certifications that your technicians have achieved?

Why haven’t you made them understand what sets your firm apart from the bid-and-chase firms that threaten your profitability along with the reputation of the industry?

Technology certifications may not be high on people’s radars now, but that seems poised to change.

The White House recently sponsored a meeting at which InfoComm was among a short guest list invited to present its ANSI-certified program’s credential for an initiative aimed at getting military personnel and veterans certified. The United Veterans Learning Center works with InfoComm on its AV Heroes program that trains military veterans for a career in the industry. Meanwhile, CompTIA has its Troops to Tech Careers program aimed at getting veterans trained and connected with employers to fill the nearly 500,000 open IT jobs.

Programs like these don’t work without certification.

Meanwhile, certification levels the playing field for hardworking people who don’t have the benefit of knowing somebody who can help them carve out a career path.

There’s an episode of “All in the Family” in which Archie Bunker complains to Meathead about affirmative action, arguing that he didn’t have a parade of people protesting so that he could get his job. Then Edith chimes in with, “No, his uncle got it for him.”

Not everybody has an uncle. Not everybody has connections. But everybody has an opportunity to work toward getting educated and certified.

All this being said, I do have respect for the opinions of those in the industry - especially those at small firms - that feel forced into having to spend money on keeping their staff certified. The industry as a whole needs to do a better job of making it worth the investment by educating customers on what it means.

Easy for me to say, right? If there was an established certification program for journalism that I’d have to pay to maintain, this column might have a very different slant.

About the author

Tom LeBlanc - Editor-in-Chief, CI,
Tom has been covering electronics integration since 2003. Prior to being named editor-in-chief of CI, he was senior writer and managing editor of CE Pro. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Follow him on Twitter @leblanctom.
View all posts by Tom LeBlanc
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Flashback Friday: Inside a Doomsday Survival Luxury Condo

For the first ever edition of Flashback Friday, go deep within a 1960s missile silo, nearly 200 feet below ground, to a doomsday-ready condo community complete with audio, video and iPad-friendly Crestron automation. To say it was a unique project for integrator Logic Integration is an understatement.

17-Foot Projection Screen at Heart of Company's Collaboration Strategy
Inside the Installation: 'BioWall' is Outdoor HD Masterpiece
University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions
Visual display overhaul for iconic London theatre the Aldwych
View more photo galleries



Recent comments

I go through your blog. The content is very good and informative. we will wait for your future posts. Thanks…

Posted by helpingtimes on 2014 09 18 · commented on
'Cambridge Sound Management Enables Individual Room Sound Masking'.

Hi, your work quality is so good, such kind of standard work process is not easy to find. we are also doing…

Posted by Manoj solanki on 2014 09 17 · commented on
'Multiple new RCF installations in South Korea'.

I really appreciate that your blog about Ultimate camera drones coming soon. Utilize as for intelligence.…

Posted by Brandon Smith on 2014 09 15 · commented on
'Camera Drone Integration to Take Off in 2015'.

This article contains some of the most informative content I’ve read in quite some time. The points…

Posted by Retail Management Software on 2014 09 13 · commented on
'coolux introduces latest version software for media and show control system'.