New Money: License to Grow
How the Audiovisual and Integrated Experiences Association is empowering a workforce with licensed education.
Forty-three billion dollars. That’s how much the Audiovisual and Integrated Experiences Association expects the professional AV industry to grow over the next five years.
In other words, “there are a lot of people to certify in the best practices and standards that make for reliable and exceptional experiences with audiovisual technology,” says AVIXA Vice President of Learning Amanda Beckner. “We’ve all had the unexceptional experiences, so let’s empower a growing workforce to excel.”
Licensing its classroom courses is one way that AVIXA is reaching AV professionals with its certifications—and ultimately bolstering a growing industry.
AVIXA has three accredited certifications, the most popular being the Certified Technology Specialist. It follows that AVIXA’s CTS Prep course, which prepares professionals to take the exam, is in high demand, so, in 2008, AVIXA decided to license it out to companies that could then administer it to their employees.
The program not only delegated some of AVIXA’s work in prepping professionals for the CTS certification exam, but it also helped fortify connections among employers and employees in the industry.
“Think about the mentors and instructors you’ve had in your career and your emotional connection to those people that supported your success, who helped you achieve a certification, who helped you master new skills that made you more valuable in the marketplace,” Beckner says. “I’m willing to bet that that connection is positively strong.”
By 2016, it was clear that the program could have a bigger impact—and bring in more revenue—if AVIXA loosened some restrictions and gave license holders a little more flexibility. Now professionals in the industry who meet a few requirements, including holding an active AVIXA certification, can license a course or a set of courses for a year and teach them to their audience of choice. They can also choose to charge for the instruction or not.
Currently, there are more than 12,000 AVIXA-certified professionals in the global marketplace. “My goal is to grow that population to 15,000,” Beckner says, adding that the licensing program is one vehicle that will help her reach that goal.
The program has also helped raise awareness of the importance of professional quality in a growing industry. Licensing courses to companies “allows us to activate champions of industry standards and certification among their employees, partners, and customers,” she says.
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