New Audio Visual Technology Associate Degree offered at DVC


Samantha Laurey

Audio visual equipment that students use in class. DVC Music Building. (Samantha Laurey/The Inquirer).

Samantha Laurey, Senior staff member

As a new semester starts at Diablo Valley College, students are looking for any degrees that might be their possible career. DVC is offering a new Audio Visual Technology degree for Spring 2019. This degree is coordinated by Nicholas Vasallo, who directs the Music Industry Studies, Audio Visual Technology, and Commercial Music programs. Vasallo explains that he receives requests every semester to employ AV Technology students for possible job opportunities, which pushed him to create a new degree. 

“It doesn’t hurt to add a valuable skill set to your arsenal, in fact, it will only make you more desirable as an employee,” said Vasallo regarding any students who are wanting to go towards a music industry degree.

Samantha Laurey
Audio Visual Technology students work on classroom project in the DVC Music Building. (Samantha Laurey/The Inquirer).

The degree offers courses, like AV Essentials, a class that focuses on teaching the students how to set up microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires, and cables. Students are taught to work with network connectivity and communication by learning to set it up and maintain it, which requires assistance from an IT team. Occupations that students can find after finishing this program can vary to Audio and Video Equipment Technicians, AV and Multimedia Collections Specialists, Producers and Directors, Broadcast Technicians, and Sound Engineering Technicians. The courses are taught by Young Kwang Schwyter, who has been teaching audio for two years at different community colleges such as Chabot Community College and San Jose State University. Schwyter believes that this profession will help students learn and understand day-to-day technology that could be useful in corporate spaces or creatively.

The AV industry right now is booming and many professionals earn an excellent living in this high-tech field,” said Schwyter. “This class helps many students prepare for AV certification programs and better ensure job placement. Employers are interested in students from the class to be part of their paid internships, so it’s exciting to see such a demand in hiring.” 

Students are prepared for certification exams such as the Certified Technology Specialist (CTS), CTS- Design, CTS- Installation, and Project Management Professional. The exams are administered by AVIXA, Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, which is an association that is meant to provide information about careers in Audio Visual Technology. Overall they help bring together a collaboration of organizations and create a community of resources for those in the career.

“The degree is a way to be involved in the music entertainment industry and play a pretty vital role in a live performance,” said Cameron Moses, AV Technology student. “It’s an applicable field for than music from large organizations to a home theatre, the skills for AV are needed.”

As technology gets more and more updated, the need for audiovisual technicians has increased. According to Audio Visual Management, a full-service premier audio-visual production company, the hospitality market is always looking for technicians to set up events or technology in hotels, resorts, and bars. Plus, the degree touches base with those who are interested to look for a technical music degree, where they can set up equipment and possibly produce music using the tools they learn from the classes.

“One of my goals as a CTE program lead is to ensure a healthy path towards employment in the music industry after graduation. AV Technology is a huge and lucrative market for potential employment,” says Vasallo.