Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Antalek is a Broadcast Technologist (and Priester is a pro)

Some of you may remember Matt Antalek, May '06 graduate, and producer extraordinaire.

Matt's now working in Philadelphia at a company called Videolink (owned by one of our alum, of course), and he just emailed us to announce that he passed the Society of Broadcast Engineers' certification test to become a Broadcast Technologist.

Now, you may be asking what I asked:

What, exactly, IS a Broadcast Technologist?

The good news is, I happen to know a pretty amazing broadcast technologist (several of them, actually), so I went directly to the experts -- the folks in TechOps.

David Priester took the time to explain the certification process, as well as the Society of Broadcast Engineers. And while many of you may not be interested in this kind of work, you should ALL be as impressed as I am about the level of professionalism and skill his answer reflects. These are the guys who keep our operation running...and it's good to know we have such amazing expertise in the school:

The society of Broadcast Engineers ( is the professional organization
representing the technical employees in the broadcast business. It has legal and lobbying functions as well as a job bank and various usual things such organizations do.

It also has a competency certification program. A number of years ago when the FCC removed the operator licensing requirements from most broadcast functions there was concern from both employees and employers that there was no longer any means by which some minimum level of knowledge could be assured. The SBE started their system of certification levels which has grown more elaborate over time to fill this void.

Most of the various levels of certification require examination. The examinations are administered by local chapter certification chairs (Of course it's David in Ithaca, and he served in that role for a number of years in Atlanta as well) who have to be certified at at least the level of the exam they are administering. As well as the examinations most certification levels require some number of years of active employment.

The terminal level of certification that Don Ryan, Slade Kennedy and David have, for example, requires at least 20 years of active work history in responsible positions. Uniquely, it doesn't require further examination but you have to collect recommendations from your peers to support the application.

There is clear evidence that certification provides an edge in employment and generates higher salaries. Many broadcast and production related employers specifically ask for or require this credential. Like any other professional credentials it provides some evidence of clear interest and commitment to a profession as well as some technical competence since it does require some effort to attain.

The examinations are multiple choice in the lower levels and a combination of that and essay at the senior level. They are based onthe experience and knowledge one should have. The exams are open book for the most part in an effort to encourage a more "Real world" experience and discourage rote memorization.

David says he would always be interested in talking to folks interested in the program or membership in the organization. Although the title says "Engineers" the organization welcomes anyone with an interest in related fields and recognizes that a
vast number of "Broadcast Engineers" work in places where there is no transmitter.

Congratulations, Matt! and thank you, David.


Anonymous Shott said...

Antalek is the man

2:51 AM  

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