How Important are Endorsements to a Career in Robotics?
If you want to pursue a career as an accountant, you get those three letters at the end of your name, CPA, that signals to anyone who sees your business card or your email signature: I’m an accountant, and this is proof. If you’re wondering what this has to do with robotics, you’re not alone. The conclusion you might reach is that, at this time, endorsements aren’t very important at all in robotics careers. Don’t be fooled. In fact, endorsements are very important to a career in robotics, and ARM is helping.
The Difference Between an Endorsement and a Degree
While an endorsement often comes with a new suffix–also called “post-nominal letters”–like CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or PMP (Project Management Professional), not every new suffix is an endorsement, and not every endorsement has a suffix. For instance, a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) after your name means you earned a terminal, often four-year graduate degree in a particular area of study. A Ph.D. (or MD, or DDS) is also a kind of endorsement because it is only earned after the defense of a thesis to peers and mentors, for example. It is an endorsement of a kind because an educational degree like these is granted by an institution after the recipient has proved themselves knowledgeable. You can’t simply buy a reputable endorsement–you have to earn it.
Recognition by Industry Experts
An endorsement is similar in that it shows that the person whose name precedes the suffix has earned the right to signal that they have earned a sufficient proficiency and, through verification by experts, peers, and mentors, proved that proficiency adequate to have that organization certify them. Employers trust that an endorsement from a specific organization has the weight of that organization’s expertise behind it. By endorsing a person, an institution recognizes that the recipient of their endorsement has earned it. This is obtained through various means like testing, site visits, etc.
Endorsements in Manufacturing
Though one might not immediately think of manufacturing as a field that benefits from endorsements and certifications, the increased diversity in careers offered by the expanding technical advancements and the halo effect that such advancements provide–more high-tech disciplines like programming and even low-tech disciplines like machining can factor into a career in manufacturing with robots. Some existing manufacturing endorsements include the Certified Production Technician and Quality Engineer Certification.
The ARM Endorsement Program
A person can earn an endorsement, but so can organizations. ARM identified this need for a standard robotics endorsement specifically for the industry of its primary concern: manufacturing. The purpose of the endorsement program is to provide employers and students with the knowledge needed to choose where to best receive training in robotics, advanced manufacturing, and automation. When you complete a program or attend an institution endorsed by ARM, you can be assured that they have met ARM’s rigorous standards.
The Endorsement Process
ARM’s endorsement process is similar to many organizations in other industries and disciplines. One of the questions ARM asks in choosing to endorse a program is the relevance of a program to the robotics industry. ARM wants to know whether an organization’s particular program provides instruction for the robotic technician, the robotics specialist, or the robotic integrator.
ARM will make sure that educators and trainers are providing the knowledge and skills needed by professionals seeking to hone their skills in robotics.
Keep an eye on our roboticscareer.org page for more information about how you can obtain an ARM certification.