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Heather Baker Extols the Virtues of Digital Asset Management
“DAM skills are beneficial in any company that works with digital content.”

Heather Baker, who holds a Master of Library Science degree and a digital librarian certificate, worked for over a decade in educational publishing, creating curriculum and assessment materials for newborns through 3rd graders when she decided it was time for a career change. She is currently in the middle of completing the certificate program in Digital Asset Management (DAM) through SC&I’s Professional Development Studies (PDS).

DAM is the practice of making digital content—photos, video files, audio clips, animations, and more—accessible and available for all stakeholders within and beyond an organization. Organizing, classifying, and retrieving these assets for use is a challenge for organizations today and one that appealed to Heather. She shared her thoughts on the program with us.

SC&I: What drew you to DAM at SC&I? 

HB: I was interested in supplementing my education as a way to stay current in the field. As I explored different career options, I consistently saw that DAM skills were needed for most of the positions that interested me. I wanted something I could do online and asynchronously that would fit in my schedule, and the program at SC&I stood out. I have not been disappointed.

SC&I: What skills and insights are you learning?

HB: So far, I’ve gleaned a few key insights that apply to DAM but are not exclusive to DAM work:

  • Documentation is everything! Taking the time to document processes and workflows pays off at every stage of a DAM project, or any project.
  • There is more than one way to get the job done. Successfully implementing a DAM system means finding a vendor, building a team, allocating resources, and developing a governance plan. There won’t be a right or wrong answer to the questions that arise at each phase, which leads to my next insight.
  • Everyone on a team has a unique perspective. Each week, the course discussion boards are filled with the ideas and experiences of professionals who approach the assigned topic in different ways. It’s fascinating to read about how DAM work is done in diverse settings with a variety of resources.

PDS instructors David Lipsey and Kristina Huddart helped me narrow down my professional goals and exposed me to learning opportunities outside of the certificate program that I would not have known about. I am grateful for their time, attention, and expertise as I learn more about DAM and how it fits into my long-term career plans.

SC&I: How do you hope to apply these skills and insights? 

HB: Before starting the DAM program, I saw myself working with metadata management in an academic library. As I move through these courses, however, I’m learning how DAM skills are beneficial in any company that works with digital content. I love the idea of helping an organization create a DAM system that improves the quality of their data and helps them reach their business goals.

SC&I: What advice do you have for someone considering taking this program?

HB: Make the decision to invest in yourself! The creators of SC&I’s DAM certificate program have thought of everything to make it a valuable experience. There is no set sequence to the courses, so that means no waiting for the next semester to start. Because each course is only four weeks, you hit the ground running, yet the coursework never feels overwhelming. The instructors are accessible, approachable, and committed to creating a positive experience. And I can’t say enough about how much you will learn from your fellow classmates.

Photo: Courtesy of Heather Baker


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