CEDIA’s Survival of the Fittest – The Value of Training

CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) offers many opportunities for education, and I took one of their seminars today. (CEDIA-certified companies have met vigorous industry standards and have been formally educated and specially trained.)  Yes, we are a CEDIA-certified company, and have been since our inception. 

Today’s topic was the advantage of CEDIA education.  CEDIA classes are set up like a university, with 100- to400-level courses, and a test at the end of the educational requirements.  CEDIA has five colleges: Electronic Systems Business, Electronic Systems Customer Relations, Electronic Systems Designer, Electronic Systems Project Management, and Electronic Systems Technician.  Within each college there are different tracks.  For instance, in the Business College, you may choose from tracks that include finance, human resources, operational management, and entrepreneurship.  Each college offers core curriculum and electives that allow an individual to receive an education that will help them most in their particular career. 

As one of the two guest presenters said today in the webinar, “We are certified professionals.  Not just a bunch of guys doing their hobby.  We are working in our chosen career.”  Our passion does drive us, but we must keep up—for many in the AV industry, passion makes keeping up with the technical aspect of the business fairly easy—at least as far as motivation goes.  But not all AV company owners are as passionate about running a business.  But you’ve got to run your business if you’re going to stay in business.  Education is essential for business to stay alive.

As the second presenter put it, “We are not of the trunk-slammer variety--the only way they can get the job is to lower their bid.  We know we can’t stay in business without at least 35% profit.”  And, “Without CEDIA we would not have the level of professionalism we have in the industry right now.  CEDIA guys will be the ones that will survive this economic crisis.”

We strive to understand, learn and know everything we can—especially in a small company like ours, where job responsibilities overlap on a regular basis.