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Are You Certifiable?

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(By Troy Price) We have a problem. We podcasters are part of a wonderful but insular community of professionals. We know who the good podcasters are, the podcasters who plan, produce and promote their shows consistent with what we know to be best practices. Those are the podcasters we look forward to seeing at our podcast events or whose products we even consider buying when they are offered. We are able to recognize quality.

The rest of the world thinks Joe Rogan is a good podcaster. They think his success means he is the pinnacle of podcast production. Popularity equals quality, right? Honestly it does not matter if you think I am right or not. That is what non-podcasters think.

Nowhere else is this more obvious in today’s job market. Do a quick job search for podcasting jobs. You will find a fair number of job postings by podcasting companies. Their list of requirements are what you would expect. They look for your experience in the medium and examples of your past work. Believe it or not, there are many more companies outside of the current world of podcasting that are looking for someone to produce a new podcast for them. Find one of those job postings and read what they are looking for. Some of them are looking for people with journalism experience, they believe that a journalist’s writing ability will make them an excellent podcaster. Some look for people with a background in marketing, thinking that those skills are what is needed. Others are looking for people with IT and sound design experience. There are many journalists, marketers, and techies who have great podcasts, however I am sure that even they will tell you that being and excellent podcaster requires more than the sum of their experience in any of those fields.

We, the world of podcasters, need some kind of certification process that is recognized and respected outside our little community. I am sure most of us has some kind of certificate of completion from THIS podcaster’s training course or are part of THAT podcaster’s mastermind. How do you think that would look on a resume when you go to apply to produce a new podcast for British Petroleum? A recognized certification from us, the experts in the field, would take an applicant much farther.

This need for some kind of certification is being recognized by those outside the field. New York University and Ohio State both now offer ‘Certificates in Podcasting’. If I were a human resource officer, those certificates would mean more to me than anything that Front Porch Studios could offer.

We podcasters have adopted some industry standards that we all have agreed upon. The MP3 format, RSS delivery, and IAB stats are just a few examples. It is time for us to come together and agree upon what demonstrated skills and other measures are needed to be an excellent podcaster and then offer an industry-recognized certification. I wonder if someone in podcast hosting, podcast events, or podcast journalism will spearhead such a certification process. Whoever takes the lead in this process will be recognized as a true leader in the field of podcasting. Future job seekers as well as employers will thank them.

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show “Podcasting Tips From The Front Porch” HERE.


Gordon Firemark -

Interesting perspective, Troy… but I really have to disagree,. There’s no certification for screenwriters There’s no certification for film producers There’s no certification for songwriters, record producers, recording artists. So much about podcasting is ART. Beauty (and qualification) really is in the eye of the beholder. And the market determines what’s deserving of success and what’s not. In fact, Joe Rogan may not be a technically superior podcaster (though he has a team of qualified (if not certified) production people helping him). But he is most certainly successful. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be standards. not just technical standards, but also quality standards. But certification raises not just the bar of quality, but also the barriers to entry. And one of the things that makes podcasting such a terrific medium, is the low barriers to entry. It’s accessible to nearly anyone with a message to share, a voice, and a very basic level of technical expertise. I’d hate to see those without the certification dismissed as something less-than merely because they haven’t paid some course or authority to certify them. And truly, there are so many different paths to becoming a “good” podcaster… should we really narrow that down to just a few?

#### [Harry Alexander]( "") -

And, I thought podcasting was just a hobby…

#### [Troy Price]( "") -


#### [Troy Price]( "") -

Hi Gordon, I agree with most of what you say, however, I think creating a certification would not have an effect on anyone wanting to or currently producing a podcast. Having a quantified standard for the definition of ‘podcaster’ that we, the podcasting community, create would be much better for the outsiders (human resources, established media companies, etc.) than from some other entity that somehow gets traction with outsiders. Most of the artists you list have a guild whose membership is more stringent than our current ‘Academys’ or ‘Associations’. I am not hung up on titles, if a gated guild membership is something we can get behind - that’s great too.

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