Why is Interest in the RCDD Growing in the Middle East but Declining in the US

I noticed that BICSI is holding a seminar on “The Value of the RCDD Credential” in Dubai on October 10th of this year. I think this is a stellar move, particularly since there has been considerable discussion on Linkedin about this very topic, much of it negative.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve seen a shift in the level of interest in the RCDD credential around the world. Inquiries about my RCDD review course from the US have dropped significantly, while inquiries from the Middle East have surged. Why is this happening?

Historically, the Middle East has been a big supporter of BICSI, particularly Dubai, where Eugene Botes dedicated much of his time in the early years to growing BICSI’s presence. Eugene was the first RCDD in South Africa and strongly supported the program. But, and I think more importantly, their attitude towards volunteering is very similar to that of the US and a solid, active volunteer base is critical to any association’s success.

I’ve been involved with BICSI in many different capacities for over 30 years, so I’m privy to some facts that many of your probably aren’t. Take the first Dubai conferences for example. While most of the world asked and continues to ask BICSI for monetary support for their conferences, Dubai was completely self sufficient. And even more impressive, a portion of the profit from those early conferences were sent back to BICSI HQ.

Needless to say, I’m a big supporter of the UAE and applaud BICSI’s decision to open an office in Dubai.

So, why the drop in interest from the US? The credential is over 30 years old……..has it run its course, does it need more support or is there competition.

For many years the RCDD has been the only game in town for designers and I believe that BICSI has rested on its laurels. The dissolution of the Governmental Relations group, for one, was a critical mistake. For very little money, annually, this group monitored legislation across the US that could potentially affect an RCDD’s ability to earn a living. Along with a grass-roots effort, much negative legislation was either modified or blocked. Long term this will be catastrophic to the livelihood of the RCDD in the US.

The pass rate has dropped to the lowest level in history and based on my discussions with members of the RCSC, I know they are taking this issue very seriously, but this too is having an impact on the credential. If you feel that your chances of passing the exam are minimal, why would you take it in the first place.

You may have heard of CNet training based in the UK. They have developed a massive credentialing program centered around Data Center design and installation and are well recognized around the world. But, a little over two years ago, they added the Certified Network Infrastructure Design Professional (CNIDP), which is a direct competitor to the RCDD and is now being taught in the US. I have warned BICSI before that this group headed by Andrew Stevens is a real threat.

I’ll continue to renew my RCDD and probably my CNID as well, but without changes I’m not optimistic about the RCDD’s future in the US. What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Why is Interest in the RCDD Growing in the Middle East but Declining in the US

  1. Yes Larry BICSI is taking significant actions through the Credentialing 2020 Program to improve not only the RCDD but all of our credentialing programs. Significant improvements have already occurred especially in RCDD testing. The RCS Committee has done work and has more work planned to bring our testing processes and procedures to meet current credentialing industry standards. Members should notice that there has been a number of requests for SME’s to directly participate in credentialing processes. Please volunteer for these activities because our credential holding members are a must-have for these improvements.
    Impressively, our global credential holders are directly participating in these volunteer activities. Yes we need to compete with other certification bodies. Our 30 year old RCDD credential has helped create the cabling industry. We have a huge lead in what we offer to the industry. Now is just the time for us to take the next steps to modernize and improve.
    George Thorning
    RCS Committee Chair.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to respond, George. I know you’re busy at the conference, but can you give us some specifics. Credentialing 2020 has been in place for some time and at its inception the pass rate for the RCDD sat in the low 20% range, some of that due to issues with PearsonVue, when historically it’s been between 40% and 50%. Can you tell us where it is currently. Also, there has been a distinct lack of information on the number of RCDDs for years and when the topic was broached a couple of years ago at the Past President’s luncheon, John Clake’s comment was that ASAE recommended against publishing those figures. My comments on the decline of the RCDD in the US were based on the slowing of candidates sitting for the exam. I know that it had dropped to the 400 or lower level. Can you tell us for the last 5 years, how many candidates have sat for the exam per year. At least that would tell us the level of interest in the credential.

  2. Agree 100% with the first statements
    The exam have been by tradition too harsh with little or no benefits to those who have it
    There is a huge different between Memorizing for an exam vs practical experience and practice

  3. David
    What is Bicsi’s role in higher ed. Specifically as it relates to organizations like Educause. This seems to me to be a perfect place for Bicsi to grow. From my experience in higher education it does not seem as though colleges and universities either have much interest in or are unaware of Bicsi.

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