Digital signage has become commonplace at schools, gas stations, and shopping malls, experts say.

Digital signage has become commonplace at schools, shopping malls, and many other locations.

Students enrolled in Texas State Technical College’s Digital Signage Technology program will be able to network with digital signage professionals and stay up to date with the latest in interactive technology after the school became the nation’s first college chapter of the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), a nonprofit trade organization.

The DSF announced the industry’s first college partner May 17, and TSTC officials said the partnership would give its students access to industry news and trends that could make them more marketable when they finish the signage associate degree program and enter the workforce.

There are three students in TSTC’s digital signage program, which launched in the spring 2010 semester with about $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education, said Patricia Golin, a program specialist at the college. Golin expects at least five more students to join the digital signage program next fall, and the school projects 20 signage students by fall 2011.

“We researched all kinds of emerging technologies involving digital graphics, and we saw digital signage as one of the most in-demand skill sets becoming more and more common out there,” Golin said, explaining why TSTC used the federal funding to begin a digital signage curriculum.

Geri Wolff, membership director for the DSF, said that outside TSTC, there are currently “no other degrees awarded in or coursework specific to the field of digital signage,” although “other colleges and universities … include aspects of digital signage in their marketing or graphic arts curricula.”

Read the full story on eCampus News.