A new program from the Society of Broadcast Engineers aims to help encourage development of technical talent for the industry.
The Technical Professional Training Program, or TPTP, is a response to “the ongoing concern about new technical talent choosing broadcasting as a career,” according to SBE.
“As technology and the average age and tenure of technical professionals advances … there is concern to adequately fulfill the technical staffing needs in the long term.”
The society noted that familiar career starting points of the past, in which part-time employment and smaller-market stations served as a training ground, have been largely eliminated through streamlining of the workforce, consolidation of ownership and the shrinking number of electronic technology programs at trade schools and colleges.
SBE called the result “a looming crisis.”
[Read Radio World’s ebook “Radio Engineering in Crisis.”]
The SBE Technical Professional Training Program is a membership option that costs $475, which SBE hopes will be covered by employers and broadcast associations.
“Stations and media outlets can groom young talent to fast track their technical skills with one application and one purchase,” it said.
The fee includes a one-year SBE membership with SBE MemberPlus (including access to the society’s extensive webinar library); a copy of SBE CertPreview to help with certification preparation; a copy of the SBE Engineering Handbook; enrollment in the SBE Mentor Program; and the SBE CBT certification exam application fee, with the test to be taken later.
Mentoring is an important component: “The SBE Mentor Program provides new entrants to the technical broadcast field regular access and guidance from a seasoned professional – a personal touch not unlike days of old when the senior staff would take the new person under a wing to show him or her the ropes.”
“Ideally, the mentor would come from within the ranks of the organization in which the mentee is employed, but the mentor role can be filled by any qualified engineer willing to invest the time.”
The announcement of the new program was made by SBE President Wayne Pecena and Education Committee Chair Geary Morrill.
Morrill said the program aims to simplify the steps to engage someone who is new to the broadcasting technical career path.