CTS Certified Technology Specialist Exam Guide, Second Edition
CTS® Certified Technology Specialist: Exam Guide
You’ve heard the phrase, “The only constant is change.” When it comes to working in the audiovisual (AV) industry, those are words to live by.
For years, AV technology has been critical to helping people communicate, whether through simple presentation systems or videoconferencing networks that span the globe, emergency notification solutions, or public address systems in high school auditoriums. That hasn’t changed.
What has changed is the breadth and variety of the AV systems our industry delivers, spurred in large part by the digitization of audio and video and the integration of AV systems with that other prominent technology that has come to permeate people’s lives: information technology (IT). Today’s video walls, unified communications systems, command-and-control rooms, digital signage networks, and other systems represent the perfect blend of twenty-first century innovation—innovation that customers of the $78-billion commercial AV industry want for their offices, boardrooms, theaters, stores, classrooms, studios, churches, lobbies, and hospital rooms. The professionals who design, install, and manage AV systems work in a dynamic field, and they need to demonstrate a level of expertise that reflects current technology and assures customers of a job done right.
In 2011, InfoComm International and McGraw-Hill Education developed the first-ever CTS Certified Technology Specialist Exam Guide. InfoComm is the trade association that has represented the AV industry since 1939. Its commitment to professionalism spans education and training, standards development, and accredited industry certification. InfoComm’s CTS, CTS-D, and CTS-I certifications are the only AV credentials to achieve accreditation through the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ISO/IEC 17024 certification of personnel, as administered in the United States by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
But since 2011, as the refrain goes, the industry has changed, and it will continue to change. As a result, the CTS exam has changed. InfoComm volunteers, professional instructional designers, and psychometricians have revised the exam to more accurately reflect the job of an AV professional in today’s marketplace.
Much of what a CTS-certified professional needs to know to succeed is the same. But as you might expect, skills and knowledge related to IT, networking, and network security have been deemed necessary for delivering the types of advanced AV systems required today. And increasingly, AV professionals must understand how to deliver AV functionality to mobile users, whether because those users can’t attend an important meeting in person or they just want to enjoy a live performance on their favorite smartphone or tablet.
What’s more, the universe of skilled technologists who would benefit from the knowledge that comes from earning a CTS credential has grown. IT professionals, electrical engineers, building operators, and others will find that the collective skills reflected in the CTS exam will serve them well now and in the future. For a more detailed explanation of how the CTS exam changes over time, see Chapter 2.
Note that InfoComm, in keeping with the accreditation requirements of the ISO/IEC 17024 standard, does not require any training or education to obtain a CTS credential. You don’t even need to read this book to take the exam, although it has been developed by industry experts and designed to reflect much of the content you’ll find on the actual CTS exam. That said, the CTS Exam Guide is not the only way to help you prepare—and for some, it shouldn’t be.
Although many prospective CTS holders will rely on this book to earn their CTS certification, others will benefit from collaborating with instructors and peers through classroom training such as InfoComm University’s CTS Prep course. InfoComm University also now offers CTS Prep Online, a comprehensive course that is free to InfoComm members and available to everyone. You may also benefit from taking the Essentials of AV Technology Online course, and/or completing the self-assessment tests that InfoComm provides.
Again, none of this training is required to become CTS-certified, but it’s in your and the AV industry’s best interest to develop the most highly educated workforce possible. InfoComm certifies more qualified AV professionals than anyone. And because of the commitment of people like you, the CTS certification is now recognized across multiple industries and market segments for its credibility and integrity. When customers or employers hire a CTS, they know their AV systems will be designed correctly, include the latest technology, and work as promised.
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