“How do we expose or discover the great talent that can take our industry into the future?”
We had good success several years ago when the Society for Experiential Graphic Design held a meeting in conjunction with Digital Signage Expo. It opened eyes on both sides of the table, with the SEGD members learning more about integrating digital displays into their designs and digital signage industry members exploring how to work with designers from the beginning of a project.
Have we nurtured that relationship with SEGD? Have we looked for similar professional organizations that we should pursue?
Texas State Technical University, working with the industry, began offering a digital signage associate degree program in 2009. It appears that the major no longer exists, but are there other universities training students to work in this or related industries? I couldn’t find any with a basic Google search, but I did find a statistic quoted that, “Nearly 70 percent of colleges have installed digital displays, according to Higher Ed Tech Decisions.” Who is running these networks, developing content and monitoring technology trends? What is the 2017 digital signage equivalent of working at the campus radio or television station to learn the necessary skills to work in the broadcasting industry?
In 2012, I was part of a Digital Signage Federation (DSF) subcommittee that established national standards for digital signage education and curricula. Perhaps the DSF Education Committee needs to consider whether it should take a two-pronged approach: 1) developing educational opportunities for those already working in the industry and 2) promoting digital signage courses as a logical addition to related majors at the university level.