Where the Next Generation Will Come From

Brett Moss is gear & technology editor.

I’ve got to give Loyalist College of Belleville, Ont., credit. The Canadian school has a Broadcast Engineering Technology degree program and is in the last semester of its first class of “pioneer” broadcast engineers.

It’s just not often you see a new broadcast engineering program. The college’s Web page describing the program notes: “This new, one-of-a-kind program was designed with input from the industry, based on today’s requirements and their expectations of future directions.” And it adds, “Many broadcast engineers are retiring now and in the next several years, creating a great need for new graduates who are trained on the latest systems.”

Real-world broadcast internships with the CBC, CHUM Radio, Corus Entertainment, et al. provide for hands-on experience. Not surprisingly, the program has a component of IT technology.

Eric Heidendahl, professor/coordinator of broadcast engineering for Loyalist College, wrote a commentary in Radio World this month in which he describes broadcast engineering as “a solid career choice for those who are technically inclined; but for now it is a well-kept secret.” Programs like his help get the word out.

The Loyalist program is accredited by SBE, too. Society of Broadcast Engineers Executive Director John Poray tells us that there are now a dozen SBE-certified schools (as well as an SBE tie-in with the U.S. military education program). So the next time someone asks, “Where will the next generation of engineers come from,” you can point them to this list.

Kudos to Loyalist College, and to SBE, for advancing the cause of developing future engineers.

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